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THE THREE PURE LAND SUTRAS 



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BDK English Tripitaka Series 



THE THREE PURE LAND SUTRAS 

The Larger Sutra on Amitayus 

(Taisho Volume 12, Number 360) 

The Sutra on Contemplation of Amitayus 

(Taisho Volume 12, Number 365) 

The Smaller Sutra on Amitayus 

(Taisho Volume 12, Number 366) 



Translated from the Chinese 

by 

Hisao Inagaki 

in collaboration with 
Harold Stewart 

Revised Second Edition 



Numata Center 

for Buddhist Translation and Research 

2003 



Copyright © 1995, 2003 by Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai and 
Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored 

in a retrieval system, or transcribed in any form or by any means 

— electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise — 

without the prior written permission of the publisher. 

Revised Second Edition, First Printing, 2003 

ISBN: 1-886439-18-4 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2003109307 

Published by 

Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research 

2620 Warring Street 

Berkeley, California 94704 

Printed in the United States of America 



A Message on the Publication of the 
English Tripitaka 



The Buddhist canon is said to contain eighty-four thousand different teachings. 
I believe that this is because the Buddha's basic approach was to prescribe a 
different treatment for every spiritual ailment, much as a doctor prescribes a 
different medicine for every medical ailment. Thus his teachings were always 
appropriate for the particular suffering individual and for the time at which the 
teaching was given, and over the ages not one of his prescriptions has failed to 
relieve the suffering to which it was addressed. 

Ever since the Buddha's Great Demise over twenty-five hundred years ago, 
his message of wisdom and compassion has spread throughout the world. Yet 
no one has ever attempted to translate the entire Buddhist canon into English 
throughout the history of Japan. It is my greatest wish to see this done and to 
make the translations available to the many English-speaking people who have 
never had the opportunity to learn about the Buddha's teachings. 

Of course, it would be impossible to translate all of the Buddha's eighty- 
four thousand teachings in a few years. I have, therefore, had one hundred thirty- 
nine of the scriptural texts in the prodigious Taisho edition of the Chinese Buddhist 
canon selected for inclusion in the First Series of this translation project. 

It is in the nature of this undertaking that the results are bound to be criti- 
cized. Nonetheless, I am convinced that unless someone takes it upon himself 
or herself to initiate this project, it will never be done. At the same time, I hope 
that an improved, revised edition will appear in the future. 

It is most gratifying that, thanks to the efforts of more than a hundred Buddhist 
scholars from the East and the West, this monumental project has finally gotten 
off the ground. May the rays of the Wisdom of the Compassionate One reach 
each and every person in the world. 

NUMATA Yehan 
Founder of the English 
August 7, 1991 Tripitaka Project 



Editorial Foreword 



In January 1982, Dr. NUMATA Yehan, the founder of Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai 
(Society for the Promotion of Buddhism), decided to begin the monumental 
task of translating the complete Taisho edition of the Chinese Tripitaka (Buddhist 
canon) into the English language. Under his leadership, a special preparatory 
committee was organized in April 1982. By July of the same year, the Trans- 
lation Committee of the English Tripitaka was officially convened. 

The initial Committee consisted of the following members: (late) 
Hanayama Shoyu (Chairperson), Bando Shojun, Ishigami Zenno, Kamata 
Shigeo, Kanaoka Shuyu, Mayeda Sengaku, Nara Yasuaki, Sayeki Shinko, 
Shioiri Ryotatsu, Tamaru Noriyoshi, (late) Tamura Kwansei, Uryuzu 
Ryushin, and YUYAMA Akira. Assistant members of the Committee were as 
follows: Kanazawa Atsushi, Watanabe Shogo, Rolf Giebel of New Zealand, 
and Rudy Smet of Belgium. 

After holding planning meetings on a monthly basis, the Committee selected 
one hundred thirty-nine texts for the First Series of translations, an estimated 
one hundred printed volumes in all. The texts selected are not necessarily lim- 
ited to those originally written in India but also include works written or com- 
posed in China and Japan. While the publication of the First Series proceeds, 
the texts for the Second Series will be selected from among the remaining works; 
this process will continue until all the texts, in Japanese as well as in Chinese, 
have been published. 

Frankly speaking, it will take perhaps one hundred years or more to accom- 
plish the English translation of the complete Chinese and Japanese texts, for 
they consist of thousands of works. Nevertheless, as Dr. Numata wished, it is 
the sincere hope of the Committee that this project will continue unto comple- 
tion, even after all its present members have passed away. 

It must be mentioned here that the final object of this project is not aca- 
demic fulfillment but the transmission of the teaching of the Buddha to the 
whole world in order to create harmony and peace among humankind. To that 



Editorial Foreword 



end, the translators have been asked to minimize the use of explanatory notes of 
the kind that are indispensable in academic texts, so that the attention of general 
readers will not be unduly distracted from the primary text. Also, a glossary of 
selected terms is appended to aid in understanding the text. 

To my great regret, however, Dr. NUMATA passed away on May 5, 1994, at 
the age of ninety-seven, entrusting his son, Mr. NUMATA Toshihide, with the con- 
tinuation and completion of the Translation Project. The Committee also lost its 
able and devoted Chairperson, Professor Hanayama Shoyu, on June 16, 1995, 
at the age of sixty-three. After these severe blows, the Committee elected me, 
Vice President of Musashino Women's College, to be the Chair in October 1995. 
The Committee has renewed its determination to carry out the noble intention of 
Dr. NUMATA, under the leadership of Mr. NUMATA Toshihide. 

The present members of the Committee are Mayeda Sengaku (Chairperson), 
Bando Shojun, Ishigami Zenno, Ichishima Shoshin, Kanaoka Shuyu, Nara 
Yasuaki, Tamaru Noriyoshi, Uryuzu Ryushin, Yuyama Akira, Kenneth K. 
Tanaka, WATANABE Shogo, and assistant member YONEZAWA Yoshiyasu. 

The Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research was established 
in November 1984, in Berkeley, California, U.S.A., to assist in the publication of 
the BDK English Tripitaka First Series. In December 1991, the Publication Com- 
mittee was organized at the Numata Center, with Professor Philip Yampolsky as 
the Chairperson. To our sorrow, Professor Yampolsky passed away in July 1996. 
In February 1997, Dr. Kenneth K. Inada became Chair and served in that capac- 
ity until August 1999. The current Chair, Dr. Francis H. Cook, has been contin- 
uing the work since October 1999. All of the remaining texts will be published 
under the supervision of this Committee, in close cooperation with the Editorial 
Committee in Tokyo. 

Mayeda Sengaku 

Chairperson 

Editorial Committee of 

the BDK English Tripitaka 



Publisher's Foreword 



The Publication Committee shares with the Editorial Committee the responsi- 
bility of realizing the vision of Dr. Yehan Numata, founder of Bukkyo Dendo 
Kyokai, the Society for the Promotion of Buddhism. This vision is no less than 
to make the Buddha's teaching better known throughout the world, through the 
translation and publication in English of the entire collection of Buddhist texts 
compiled in the Taisho Shinshu Daizokyd, published in Tokyo in the early part 
of the twentieth century. This huge task is expected to be carried out by several 
generations of translators and may take as long as a hundred years to complete. 
Ultimately, the entire canon will be available to anyone who can read English 
and who wishes to learn more about the teaching of the Buddha. 

The present generation of staff members of the Publication Committee are 
Diane Ames, Marianne Dresser, Eisho Nasu, Koh Nishiike, and Reverend 
Kiyoshi Yamashita, president of the Numata Center for Buddhist Translation 
and Research, Berkeley, California. The Publication Committee is headquar- 
tered at the Numata Center and, working in close cooperation with the Edito- 
rial Committee, is responsible for the usual tasks associated with preparing 
translations for publication. 

In October 1999, 1 became the third chairperson of the Publication Com- 
mittee, on the retirement of its very capable former chair, Dr. Kenneth K. Inada. 
The Committee is devoted to the advancement of the Buddha's teaching through 
the publication of excellent translations of the thousands of texts that make up 
the Buddhist canon. 

Francis H. Cook 

Chairperson 
Publication Committee 



Contents 

A Message on the Publication of the English Tripitaka 





NUMATA Yehan 


V 


Editorial Foreword 


Mayeda Sengaku 


vii 


Publisher's Foreword 


Francis H. Cook 


ix 


Translator's Introduction 


Hisao Inagaki 


xiii 


Outlines of the Three Sutras 




xvi 


Synopses of the Three Sutras 




xxii 


The Three Pure Land Sutras 







The Larger Sutra {Sutra on the Buddha of Infinite Life Delivered by 

Sakyamuni Buddha) 1 

Part One 3 

Part Two 3 1 

The Contemplation Sutra {Sutra on the Visualization of the Buddha of 

Infinite Life Delivered by Sakyamuni Buddha) 63 

The Smaller Sutra {Sutra on Amitdyus Buddha Delivered by 

Sakyamuni Buddha) 89 

Notes 97 

Appendix 101 

Glossary 1 05 

Bibliography 129 

Index 133 

A List of the Volumes of the BDK English Tripitaka (First Series) 153 



Translator's Introduction 



The Pure Land school is a form of Mahayana Buddhism that centers around the 
Buddha of Infinite Light and Life, known in Sanskrit as Amitabha and Amitayus, 
in Chinese as O-mi-tuo fo, and in Japanese as Amida. This buddha is said to 
dwell in the Land of Utmost Bliss (SukhavatT), far to the west of this world, 
beyond the realm of samsara. With boundless wisdom and compassion, Amitabha 
perceives the problems of those who are suffering from karmic results in sam- 
saric existence and provides means of liberation for them. 

The most important scriptures of the Pure Land school are the three texts 
presented in this volume: 1) the Sutra on the Buddha of Infinite Life (also known 
as the Larger Sutra on Amitayus, abbreviated to Larger Sutra; the Sanskrit text 
is popularly known as the Larger Sukhdvatfvyuha Sutra); 2) the Sutra on Visu- 
alization of the Buddha of Infinite Life (abbreviated to Contemplation Sutra); 
and 3) the Sutra on Amitayus Buddha (also known as the Amida Sutra or the 
Smaller Sutra on Amitayus, abbreviated to Smaller Sutra; the Sanskrit text is 
popularly known as the Smaller SukhavatTvyuha Sutra). 

These sutras were chosen by Honen of Japan (1 133-1212) and called the 
three Pure Land sutras. Actually there are many other sutras and discourses that 
mention Amitabha and his Land of Bliss. According to Prof. Kotatsu Fujita, the 
total number of such scriptures in the Chinese Buddhist canon is two hundred 
and ninety. The Chinese canon, which was collected and edited in Japan under 
the title of the Taisho Tripitaka, contains two thousand one hundred and eighty- 
four texts. Thus, more than 13 percent of all the scriptures held to be authentic 
in the Chinese tradition recognize this buddha and his land. 

Amitabha was mentioned from the advent of the rise of Mahayana Buddhism 
in India, and eminent exponents of Mahayana metaphysical thought, such as 
Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu, took refuge in Amitabha and extensively promoted 
Pure Land faith and practice. From the beginning, worship of Amitabha was 
clearly distinguished from Hindu worship of gods, because it had its roots in 



Translator's Introduction 



the bodhisattva ideal. The Pure Land of Amitabha was also conceived of as 
more real than this ephemeral world of ours in samsara. 

The Pure Land sutras and discourses were first transmitted to Central Asia 
and then to China. The first Chinese translation of the Larger Sutra was pro- 
duced in the middle of the second century. Of the five extant translations of this 
sutra, the last was made in 980. Thus the whole history of Chinese Buddhism 
was strongly characterized by Amitabha worship, and the Mahayana schools 
that developed in China recognized the importance of this buddha and adopted 
into their systems practice and faith centering on Amitabha. Many discourses 
and commentaries were composed by dedicated Pure Land masters, and many 
images of the Pure Land were produced. Ationg lay followers as well as monks 
and nuns, the practice of repeating Amitabha's Name, called nian-fo (Jpn. nem- 
butsu), was and is enthusiastically performed by many Chinese Buddhists at 
home and abroad, to say nothing of millions of followers of the Pure Land denom- 
inations that developed in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and other Asian countries. 

As a higher practice of Pure Land Buddhism, meditation on Amitabha and 
his Pure Land, based on the Contemplation Sutra and the Pratyutpanna Samadhi 
Sutra (Taisho No. 418, translated by Paul Harrison, Numata Center, 1998), has 
been widespread from ancient times. Many devotees successfully followed the 
prescribed method and attained the samadhi of visualizing Amitabha and his 
Pure Land. Today, as it is impossible to follow the precise and complex method 
of visualization, simplified or syncretic forms of meditation are practiced by 
various groups and individuals. 

Contrary to the impression of the general public, Pure Land Buddhism is 
not a belief of ignorant people of the past. It is very much alive and still con- 
tinues to supply inexhaustible spiritual energy to intellectuals as well as less 
educated people. But its doctrinal systems have yet to be fully studied from var- 
ious perspectives. Despite the importance of the three Pure Land sutras, which 
are the primary source of devotion to Amitabha, Western scholars and Buddhist 
followers had long been without a readable English translation of these sutras 
until publication of the first edition of this volume in 1995, as part of the BDK 
English Tripitaka series. We are now privileged to publish this revised second 
edition, which includes notes and an appendix. 

We take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Yehan 
Numata for initiating this historic project. Our sincere thanks are also due to 



Translator's Introduction 



the Editorial Committee and the Publication Committee for their time and labor 
in editing the manuscripts and seeing them through publication. 

Those interested in the theoretical clarification and doctrinal development 
of Pure Land Buddhism are directed to the Introduction to The Three Pure Land 
Sutras: A Study and Translation, published by Nagata Bunshodo, Kyoto, 1994, 
1995, and 2000 (revised edition). 

The section numbers supplied in this translation follow those in the 1988 
edition of the three Pure Land sutras in the Jodo shinshu seiten (Hompa Hong- 
wanji Temple, Kyoto), pp. 3-128. 

Concerning proper nouns, the names of the Buddha's disciples and those 
of well-known buddhas and bodhisattvas are given in Sanskrit; otherwise they 
are translated. The only exception is that the names of the buddhas in the Smaller 
Sutra, of which Sanskrit correspondents are fairly well established, are all pre- 
sented in Sanskrit. 

"The Buddha of Infinite Life" (Wu-liang-shou fo) and "O-mi-tuo fo" are 
rendered as "Amitayus." Elsewhere this buddha is referred to as "Amitabha." 



Translator's Introduction 



Outlines of the Three Sutras 

The Larger Sutra 

At one time Sakyamuni Buddha was staying on Vulture Peak near Rajagrha, 
the capital of Magadha, in northeast India, accompanied by twelve thousand 
monks and innumerable bodhisattvas. Each bodhisattva had already attained 
distinguished virtues and supreme wisdom. At that time, Sakyamuni's appear- 
ance was extremely majestic and brilliant. Ananda, the chief disciple in the audi- 
ence, observed that the Buddha must be dwelling in the supreme samadhi and 
contemplating all the buddhas. Sakyamuni praised Ananda' s pertinent obser- 
vation, and began to reveal the wonderful Dharma. 

In the distant past Buddha Dlpankara appeared in the world, followed by 
fifty-three other buddhas, of whom the last was Lokesvararaja ("World Sover- 
eign King"). Under his guidance, a king renounced the throne and became a monk 
named Dharmakara ("Storehouse of the Dharma"). After praising the Buddha 
with a hymn (section 5), he expressed his resolution to become a buddha. At his 
earnest request, Lokesvararaja showed him innumerable buddha lands, which he 
studied to make plans for his own buddhahood. After five kalpas' contemplation, 
Dharmakara formulated his resolution as the Forty-eight Vows (section 7). After 
proclaiming the vows, he presented the gist of them in a hymn (section 8). 

In order to fulfill his vows, Dharmakara performed various meritorious 
practices for many eons and finally became a buddha known as Amitayus 
("Infinite Life"). His land is full of glorious adornments, and his light is the 
most brilliant and majestic of all buddhas'. His lifespan is also immeasurable, 
and his disciples are innumerable. Those born in his land enjoy the highest spir- 
itual bliss and attain supreme physical glory. 

Part Two of the sutra begins with the description of how the eleventh, sev- 
enteenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth vows have been fulfilled (sections 22-25). 
There it is clarified that those who, having heard the Name of Amitayus, rejoice 
in faith and are mindful of him will be born in the Pure Land and dwell in the 
stage of non-retrogression. Three grades of aspirants who sincerely perform 
meritorious practices and are mindful of Amitayus will, on their deathbeds, see 
him and a host of sages welcoming them to the Pure Land. 

The virtues of Amitayus are so glorious that all buddhas praise them. 
Innumerable bodhisattvas from other buddha lands visit the Pure Land to pay 



Translator's Introduction 



homage to Amitayus and receive teachings from him. Sakyamuni describes this 
in a hymn (section 27). All the bodhisattvas in the Pure Land are endowed with 
majestic physical characteristics and distinguished spiritual powers. Dwelling 
in the highest bodhisattva stage, they display wonderful buddha activities. They 
thus attain excellent virtues that are beyond compare (section 30). 

Sakyamuni then began to address Maitreya in particular thus: people of the 
world are ignorant and driven by passions and so are destined for the evil realms 
of samsara, where they undergo endless suffering (section 31). The Buddha's 
admonishment continued: people are given to anger and greed, and are prone 
to five kinds of evil. If they refrain from immoral acts and strive to do good, 
then with the merits so acquired they will be reborn in higher and happier states 
of existence and finally reach nirvana (sections 34-40). 

The Buddha told Ananda to worship Amitayus. At once Amitayus mani- 
fested himself with a majestic appearance and his light shone everywhere, so 
that Ananda and all the others in the assembly clearly saw the Pure Land. They 
witnessed two types of birth: 1) that of those born from within the lotus flow- 
ers, and 2) that of those remaining in the lotus buds. Those aspirants who have 
accepted the Buddha's wisdom with pure faith are to be born by instantaneous 
transformation and fully enjoy the highest bliss, but those with doubts must 
remain in the lotus buds for five hundred years (section 43). The fault of har- 
boring doubt is shown by the parable of a prince confined in a palace room as 
a punishment for his offenses (section 45). 

There are a great number of bodhisattvas in other buddha lands who visit 
the Pure Land. Fourteen buddha lands, including the Saha world, which is Sakya- 
muni's land, are mentioned. Because of the special importance of this sutra, 
Sakyamuni promised that even after all the other sutras become extinct in the 
future, he would preserve it in the world for a hundred more years. 

The sutra ends with a description of various spiritual benefits received by 
different audiences. 

The Contemplation Sutra 

Prelude 

Shandao of China (613-681) gives in his commentary on this sutra a detailed 
account of the misfortune that befell the royal family of Magadha in northeast 
India, which led to the Buddha's preaching of this sutra. 



Translator's Introduction 



Sakyamuni had a cousin, Devadatta, who was greedy for fame and wealth. 
Seeing the Buddha receive many offerings from King Bimbisara, he wanted to 
take over the leadership of the sangha. He first learned supernatural power from 
Ananda, which he displayed to Prince Ajatasatru; thus he won the respect of 
the prince and also received sumptuous offerings from him. Devadatta then 
approached Sakyamuni and suggested that the Buddha retire but was rebuked 
for his stupidity. Angered by this, he next incited Ajatasatru to usurp the throne. 
Seeing that Ajatasatru hesitated, Devadatta pointed at the prince's broken little 
finger and told him the following story. 

A long time ago King Bimbisara was anxious to have an heir. Having heard 
from a soothsayer that a certain hermit living in the mountains would be reborn 
as his son three years later, the king immediately sent a messenger to the her- 
mit suggesting that he terminate his own life, but the hermit refused to do so. 
The angry king ordered the messenger to kill him if the hermit still refused to 
commit suicide. On his death, the hermit vowed to take revenge. 

Soon Queen VaidehT became pregnant. The king rejoiced, but was horrified 
to hear from the soothsayer that she would bear a boy who would harm the king. 
So he told the queen to give birth to the baby on the roof of the tower and let it 
drop to the ground. She did as she was told, but the baby miraculously survived 
with only damage to his little finger. 

Devadatta told Ajatasatru that the king had thus tried to kill him a second 
time. Enraged to hear this, the prince imprisoned the king and left him to die. 

Outline of the Sutra 

At one time Sakyamuni Buddha was staying on Vulture Peak together with 
one thousand two hundred and fifty monks and thirty-two thousand bodhisattvas. 
Incited by Devadatta, Ajatasatru imprisoned King Bimbisara and later Queen 
Vaidehi too, because she brought food and drink to the king. In utter despair 
she requested the Buddha to help her. The Buddha immediately sent two dis- 
ciples to her, and afterward himself appeared in the prison where she was 
confined. As she wished to be born in a land with no sorrow, he showed her 
many buddha lands to let her make her choice. To the Buddha's satisfaction, 
she chose the Pure Land of Amitayus. Vaidehi was thus able to visualize the 
Pure Land through the Buddha's power. For the sake of later generations, the 
Buddha expounded a method of contemplation in thirteen stages (sections 9-21): 



Translator's Introduction 



1 . Contemplating the setting sun until one has a clear vision of it whether 
one's eyes are open or closed. This and the next visualizations are preliminary 
contemplations of the surroundings of the Pure Land. 

2. Envisioning that the western region is flooded by water and that the water 
turns into ice, then into beryl. The ground of the Pure Land is made of beryl 
and is supported by columns made of various jewels. 

3. Contemplating the ground of the Pure Land until one visualizes it in a 
state of samadhi. This and the following four are visualizations of the actual 
surroundings. 

4. Contemplating the jeweled trees ornate with glorious adornments. 

5. Contemplating the water of eight excellent qualities in the ponds. 

6. Contemplating various objects, such as myriads of jeweled towers. 

7. Contemplating the lotus throne of Amitayus. Prior to the Buddha's expo- 
sition of this, Amitayus, accompanied by his two attendant bodhisattvas Avalo- 
kitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta, had appeared before Vaidehl. 

8. Contemplating images of Amitayus and his two attendant bodhisattvas. 
This is the stage preliminary to visualizing the actual Buddha and bodhisattvas. 
One who accomplishes this contemplation attains the samadhi of mindfulness 
of the Buddha (nian-fo, or nembutsu samadhi). 

9. Contemplating Amitayus himself with boundless physical dimensions. 
One who visualizes him also beholds all the buddhas, and so attains the samadhi 
of mindfulness of the Buddha. 

10. Contemplating Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanyin). 

1 1. Contemplating Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta (Shizhi). 

12. Contemplating the aspirants themselves as they are born in the Pure Land. 

13. Contemplating the images of Amitayus and his two bodhisattvas every- 
where in the Pure Land. 

The next three contemplations are of the nine categories of Pure Land aspi- 
rants in three grades (sections 22-30). The highest grade corresponds to the four- 
teenth contemplation, the middle grade to the fifteenth, and the lowest grade to the 
sixteenth. Each grade is divided into three levels: highest, middle, and lowest. 

1. The highest level of the highest grade: devout followers of the Mahayana 
who awaken sincere faith and who do meritorious deeds. At their death, Amitayus 
and a host of sages appear to welcome them to the Pure Land. Having been born 
there, they can see the Buddha, hear the Dharma, and attain higher spiritual states. 



Translator's Introduction 



2. The middle level of the highest grade: those who comprehend Mahayana 
teachings and have deep faith in the law of karma. At their death, Amitayus and 
a host of sages appear to welcome them to the Pure Land. Seven days after birth 
there, they attain the stage of non-retrogression. 

3. The lowest level of the highest grade: those who believe in the law of 
karma and awaken aspiration for enlightenment (bodhicitta). At their death, 
Amitayus and a host of sages appear to welcome them to the Pure Land. They 
are confined in lotus buds for one day; seven days after their flowers open they 
can see the Buddha and gradually attain spiritual benefits. 

4. The highest level of the middle grade: those who observe the five as well 
as other precepts. At their death, Amitayus and a host of sages appear to wel- 
come them to the Pure Land. When their lotus flowers open they hear the Dharma 
and become arhats. 

5. The middle level of the middle grade: those who observe various pre- 
cepts even for one day. At their death, Amitayus and a host of sages appear to 
welcome them to the Pure Land. Seven days after their birth there, their flow- 
ers open and they attain the stage of stream-winner (srota-apanna); half a kalpa 
later they become arhats. 

6. The lowest level of the middle grade: those who do worldly good deeds, 
such as being dutiful to parents. After death they attain birth in the Pure Land; 
seven days later their flowers open and after a smaller kalpa they become arhats. 

7. The highest level of the lowest grade: evildoers who commit various 
transgressions. Before they die, they hear the names of Mahayana sutras and 
are also told to recite the Name of Amitayus. At their death, Amitayus sends 
his transformed body and transformed bodhisattvas to escort them to the Pure 
Land. Seven weeks later their flowers open and the aspirants can hear the Dharma 
from Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta. Ten smaller kalpas later they attain 
the first stage of a bodhisattva. 

8. The middle level of the lowest grade: those who break various precepts 
and commit offenses against the sangha and the Dharma. When, at their death, 
they are about to fall into hell, they hear of the virtues and power of Amitayus 
from a good teacher. With the merit so acquired they attain birth in the Pure 
Land but are confined in lotus buds for six kalpas; then they can hear the 
Mahayana teachings and awaken aspiration for enlightenment. 



Translator's Introduction 



9. The lowest level of the lowest grade: evildoers who commit the gravest 
offenses, which would bring them the retribution of suffering in hell. Before 
death they meet a good teacher, who urges them to call the Name of Amitabha. 
As they repeat the Name ten times, their evil karma is extinguished. When they 
die they see before them golden lotus flowers that bring them to the Pure Land. 
After twelve great kalpas the flowers open; then they can hear the Mahayana 
teachings and awaken aspiration for enlightenment. 

When the above discourse was delivered, VaidehT attained spiritual awak- 
ening and her five hundred court ladies aspired to enlightenment. After Sakya- 
muni and his attendants returned to Vulture Peak, Ananda related the whole 
sutra to the assembly. 

The Smaller Sutra 

One day the Buddha was staying at SravastT, in northeast India, together 
with one thousand two hundred and fifty monks and many bodhisattvas. He 
began to address the audience, headed by Sariputra, thus: There is in the west 
a buddha land called Sukhavatl ("Land of Utmost Bliss"), where Buddha 
Amitayus presides. The land is full of wonders, pleasing to the mind and com- 
forting to the senses, and those born there can enjoy the highest spiritual bliss. 
This buddha is called Amitayus because his lifespan is immeasurable; he is also 
called Amitabha because his light shines out boundlessly. All beings there dwell 
in the stage of non-retrogression, assured of attaining enlightenment. In order 
to be born there one must concentrate on Amitayus, holding fast to his Name 
for one to seven days. Then, at the time of death, Amitayus, accompanied by a 
host of sages, appears before the devotee and ensures his attainment of birth in 
the Pure Land. 

Innumerable buddhas dwelling in the six directions (i.e., the four cardinal 
directions of north, south, east, and west, plus the zenith and nadir) urge sen- 
tient beings to accept this sutra that is protected by all the buddhas. One who 
has faith in it is also protected by them and led to reach enlightenment without 
retrogression. For this reason, all beings should aspire to birth in the Pure Land. 
The sutra ends with praise of Sakyamuni for becoming a buddha during the 
period of the five defilements. 



Translator's Introduction 



Synopses of the Three Sutras 

Outlines and List of Sections 
with Taisho Tripitaka References 

The Larger Sutra: Part One 

Amitdyus, as Bodhisattva Dharmakara, awakened aspiration for enlight- 
enment, made the Forty-eight Vows, attained buddhahood, and established his 
glorious buddha land. 

1. Time and place of the assembly and its audience. (Vol. 12, 265c4) 

2. Distinguished virtues of the bodhisattvas in the audience. (265c21) 

3. The Buddha's unusually majestic appearance. (266b27) 

4. The fifty-three past buddhas. (266c23) 

5. The fifty-fourth buddha, Lokesvararaja, and his disciple Dharmakara. 
Dharmakara praises the Buddha in verses. (267a 14) 

6. Dharmakara sees many buddha lands and resolves to establish his own. 
(267b 19) 

7. The Forty-eight Vows. (267cl7) 

8. The verses confirming Dharmakara's resolution. (269b7) 

9. His bodhisattva practice. (269c2) 

10. His attainment of buddhahood and a general discussion of the Pure 
Land. (270a2) 

1 1. The light of Amitayus. (270a23) 

12. The lifespan of Amitayus and the inhabitants of his Pure Land. (270M6) 

13. Number of srdvakas at the first teaching assembly. (270b24) 

14. The jeweled trees. (270c5) 

15. The bodhi tree and music. (271a2) 

16. Glorious and blissful aspects of the Pure Land. (271a25) 

17. Bodily appearance of the inhabitants and their enjoyment of pleasures. 
(271b25) 

18. Comparison between the karmic rewards of a beggar and a king. (271cl0) 

19. Comparisons between different heavens and between the glories of 
heavenly beings and those in the Pure Land. (271c27) 

20. Further pleasures to be enjoyed in the Pure Land. (272a6) 

21. Flowers and their innumerable rays of light. (272a 18) 



Translator's Introduction 



The Larger Sutra: Part Two 

Methods of attainment of birth in the Pure Land; the virtues of the bodhi- 
sattvas born there; moral teachings based on karma; reality of evil acts and 
suffering; admonitions against doubt; visits of bodhisattvas to the Pure Land 
from other worlds; and the benefits gained by the audience. 

22. Praise of the Name of Amitayus by other buddhas and attainment of 
birth by faith. (272b5) 

23. The highest grade of aspirants. (272b 12) 

24. The middle grade of aspirants. (272b24) 

25. The lowest grade of aspirants. (272c4) 

26. Visits of bodhisattvas to the Pure Land from other worlds. (272cl 1) 

27. Verses on the same. (272c 16) 

28. Activity of the bodhisattvas born there with a special mention of Avalo- 
kitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta. (273b 19) 

29. Teaching of the Dharma by Amitayus and exquisite sounds produced 
by the trees, etc. (273c 14) 

30. Virtues of the bodhisattvas in the Pure Land. (273c23) 

3 1 . Three kinds of evil acts and their retributions. (273b 1 8) 

32. Sakyamuni's encouragement to do good and aspire to birth, and Maitreya's 
appreciation of the Buddha's benevolence. (275b2) 

33. Sakyamuni's further admonition against evil acts and encouragement 
to do good and aspire to birth in the Pure Land. (275b22) 

34. Introduction to the five kinds of evils and their retributions. (275c 17) 

35. The first evil. (275c27) 

36. The second evil. (276a 19) 

37. The third evil. (276M8) 

38. The fourth evil. (276c8) 

39. The fifth evil. (277a 1) 

40. His admonition against the five kinds of evil and encouragement to do 
good. (277b9) 

41. Amitayus and the Pure Land seen by the audience. (277c26) 

42. Two types of birth in the Pure Land. (278al 1) 

43. The causes of the two types of birth. (278a20) 

44. Sakyamuni's encouragement of faith. (278b3) 



Translator's Introduction 



45. Birth within the lotus blossom compared to the king's prison for princes 
who have committed offenses. (278b 12) 

46. Visits of bodhisattvas to the Pure Land from fourteen other buddha 
lands. (278b26) 

47. Sakyamuni's encouragement to hear and practice this sutra, his prom- 
ise to keep it in the world for another hundred years after the extinction of all 
other Buddhist teachings, and the difficulty of encountering this sutra, etc. (279a 1) 

48. Benefits gained by the audience. (279al9) 

The Contemplation Sutra 

A tragedy in the royal family ofMagadha leads to the Buddha 's revelation 
of the Pure Land Way. Thirteen meditations and the recitation of the Name of 
Amitayus are presented as the cause of birth there. 

1. Time and place of the assembly and its audience. (Vol. 12, 340c27) 

2. King Bimbisara's imprisonment by his son Ajatasatru. (341a2) 

3. Queen VaidehT's imprisonment. (341al4) 

4. The Buddha's visit to VaidehT. (341b2) 

5. VaidehT's desire to be born in the land of Amitayus in response to the 
Buddha's revelation of many buddha lands. (341M6) 

6. The light of the Buddha's smile shining upon Bimbisara's head. (341cl) 

7. The three acts of merit for attaining birth in the land of Amitayus. (341c5) 

8. VaidehT's request that the Buddha teach her how to visualize the land of 
Amitayus. (341c5) 

9. The first meditation, on the setting sun. (341c27) 

10. The second meditation, on the water. (342a5) 

11. The third meditation, on the ground. (342al9) 

12. The fourth meditation, on the jeweled trees. (342bl) 

13. The fifth meditation, on the water in the ponds. (342b23) 

14. The sixth meditation, on various objects. (342c6) 

15. The appearance of Amitayus with the two bodhisattvas and the seventh 
meditation, on the lotus throne. (342cl4) 

16. The eighth meditation, on the image of Amitayus. (343al8) 

17. The ninth meditation, on the glory of Amitayus. (343b 15) 

18. The tenth meditation, on Avalokitesvara. (343c 1 1) 

19. The eleventh meditation, on Mahasthamaprapta. (344al8) 



Translator's Introduction 



20. The twelfth meditation, on the aspirants themselves as they are born in 
the land of Amitayus. (344bl4) 

21. The thirteenth meditation, on images of Amitayus and the two bodhi- 
sattvas. (344b25) 

22. On the nine grades of birth: first, the highest level of the highest grade. 
(344c9) 

23. Second, the middle level of the highest grade. (345a4) 

24. Third, the lowest level of the highest grade. (345a22) 

25. Fourth, the highest level of the middle grade. (345b8) 

26. Fifth, the middle level of the middle grade. (345b 18) 

27. Sixth, the lowest level of the middle grade. (345cl) 

28. Seventh, the highest level of the lowest grade. (345cl0) 

29. Eighth, the middle level of the lowest grade. (345c26) 

30. Ninth, the lowest level of the lowest grade. (346al2) 

31. The benefits gained by the audience. (346a27) 

32. The Buddha's explanation of the names of this sutra and his admoni- 
tion to Ananda. (346b5) 

33. The Buddha's return to Vulture Peak; Ananda's explanation to the audi- 
ence of what has happened. (346b 18) 

The Smaller Sutra 

The glorious features of the land of Amitayus are explained, and the Dharma 
through which he saves beings is praised by the buddhas of the six directions. 

1. Time and place of the assembly and its audience. (Vol. 12, 346b25) 

2. The Land of Utmost Bliss and Amitayus introduced. (346c 10) 

3. Magnificent aspects of the Land of Utmost Bliss. (346cl2) 

4. The reason why this buddha is called "Amitabha" and "Amitayus." 
(347a25) 

5. The virtues and number of the bodhisattvas in that land and the practice 
required for the attainment of birth there. (347b4) 

6. Praise of the virtue of Amitayus by the buddhas in the east. (347b 18) 

7. Praise of the same by the buddhas in the south. (347b24) 

8. Praise of the same by the buddhas in the west. (347b29) 

9. Praise of the same by the buddhas in the north. (347c6) 

10. Praise of the same by the buddhas in the zenith. (347cl 1) 



Translator's Introduction 



11. Praise of the same by the buddhas in the nadir. (347c 16) 

12. The reason why this sutra is called "Praise of the Inconceivable Virtue 
and Protection by All Buddhas," and Sakyamuni's urging aspiration for birth 
in that land. (348a7) 

13. Praise of Sakyamuni's virtue by all the buddhas. (348al8) 

14. End of the sutra with a description of the audience's joy. (348a26) 



THE SUTRA ON THE BUDDHA 

OF INFINITE LIFE 

DELIVERED BY SAKYAMUNI BUDDHA 



Translated into Chinese during the Cao-Wei Dynasty 
by Tripitaka Master Samghavarman of India 



Part One 



1 Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying on Vulture Peak in 265c 
Rajagrha with a large company of twelve thousand monks. They were all great 
sages who had already attained supernatural powers. Their names included the 
following: Venerable Ajnatakaundinya, Venerable Asvajit, Venerable Vaspa, 
Venerable Mahanama, Venerable Bhadrajit, Venerable Vimala, Venerable 
Yasodeva, Venerable Subahu, Venerable Purnaka, Venerable Gavampati, Ven- 
erable Uruvilvakasyapa, Venerable Gayakasyapa, Venerable Nadikasyapa, 
Venerable Mahakasyapa, Venerable Sariputra, Venerable Mahamaudgalyayana, 
Venerable Kapphina, Venerable Mahakausthila, Venerable Mahakatyayana, 
Venerable Mahacunda, Venerable PumamaitrayanTputra, Venerable Aniruddha, 
Venerable Revata, Venerable Kimpila, Venerable Amogharaja, Venerable 
Parayanika, Venerable Vakkula, Venerable Nanda, Venerable Svagata, Ven- 
erable Rahula, and Venerable Ananda. All of these were elders. 

Mahayana bodhisattvas also accompanied the Buddha, including all 
those of this Auspicious Kalpa, such as Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, Bodhi- 
sattva ManjusrT, and Bodhisattva Maitreya. There were also the sixteen lay 
bodhisattvas, such as Bhadrapala, as well as Bodhisattva Profound Thought, 
Bodhisattva Wisdom of Faith, Bodhisattva Emptiness, Bodhisattva Bloom 
of Supernatural Power, Bodhisattva Hero of Light, Bodhisattva Superior 
Wisdom, Bodhisattva Banner of Wisdom, Bodhisattva Tranquil Ability, 
Bodhisattva Wisdom of Vows, Bodhisattva Sweet-smelling Elephant, Bodhi- 
sattva Hero of Treasures, Bodhisattva Dwelling in the Center, Bodhisattva 
Practice of Restraint, and Bodhisattva Emancipation. 

2 Each of these bodhisattvas, following the virtues of Mahasattva Samanta- 
bhadra, is endowed with the immeasurable practices and vows of the bodhi- 
sattva path and firmly dwells in all meritorious deeds. He freely travels in 
all the ten directions and employs skillful means of liberation. He enters the 
treasury of the Dharma of the buddhas and reaches the other shore. Through- 
out the innumerable worlds he attains enlightenment. 

First, dwelling in the Tusita Heaven, he proclaims the True Dharma. 
Having left the heavenly palace, he descends into his mother's womb. Soon 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



after he is born from her right side, he takes seven steps. As he does so, an 
effulgence illuminates everywhere in the ten directions and innumerable 
buddha lands quake in six ways. Then he utters these words, "I shall become 
266a the most honored one in the world." Sakra and Brahma reverently attend 
him, and heavenly beings adore and worship him. He shows his ability in 
calculation, writing, archery, and horsemanship. He is also conversant with 
the divine arts and well read in many volumes. In the field outside the palace 
he trains himself in the martial arts, and at court he shows that he also enjoys 
the pleasures of the senses. 

When he first encounters old age, sickness, and death, he realizes the 
impermanence of the world. He renounces his kingdom, wealth, and throne 
and goes into the mountains to practice the Way. After sending back the 
white horse that he has been riding, together with the jeweled crown and 
ornaments that he has been wearing, he takes off his magnificent clothes and 
puts on a Dharma robe. He cuts his hair and shaves his beard, sits upright 
under a tree, and strives at ascetic practices for six years in accord with the 
traditional way. Since he has appeared in the world of the five defilements, 
he behaves as the multitude. And as his body appears dirty, he takes a bath 
in the Golden River. As a god bends a branch down toward him, he is able 
to climb up the river bank. A divine bird follows him closely to the seat of 
enlightenment (bodhimanda). A deva takes the form of a youth and, per- 
ceiving a favorable sign, respectfully presents him with the auspicious grass. 
The Bodhisattva compassionately accepts it, spreads it under the bodhi tree, 
and sits upon it with his legs crossed. He emits a great flood of light to inform 
Mara of this. Mara and his army come to attack and tempt him, but he brings 
them under control with the power of wisdom and makes them all surren- 
der. Then he attains the supreme Dharma and realizes highest, perfect enlight- 
enment (anuttara samyaksambodhi). 

As Sakra and Brahma request him to turn the wheel of the Dharma, the 
Buddha visits various places and preaches the Dharma in his thunderous 
voice. He beats the Dharma drum, blows the Dharma conch, brandishes the 
Dharma sword, hoists the Dharma banner, rolls the Dharma thunder, hurls 
the Dharma lightning, brings the Dharma rain, and bestows the Dharma gift. 
At all times, he awakens the world with the sound of the Dharma. His light 
illuminates countless buddha lands, causing the entire world to quake in six 



The Larger Sutra 



ways. It encompasses Mara's realm, shaking his palace, so that he and his 
host become frightened and surrender. The Bodhisattva tears asunder the net 
of evil, destroys wrong views, removes afflictions, flushes the gutters of 
desire, protects the Dharma castle, opens the Dharma gate, washes off the 
grime of the passions, and reveals the pure white Dharma. He unifies every- 
thing in the Buddha-Dharma and thus proclaims the right teaching. 

He enters the town to beg alms; he accepts even rich food to enable the 
donors to accumulate merit and also to show that he is a field of virtue. Wish- 
ing to expound the Dharma, he smiles and so cures the three pains with var- 
ious Dharma medicines. He teaches that the aspiration for enlightenment 
(bodhicitta) has immeasurable merit, and by giving predictions to bodhi- 
sattvas, he enables them to attain buddhahood. 

He demonstrates that he passes into nirvana but endlessly brings sen- 
tient beings to liberation. In removing their defilements, planting various 
roots of virtue, and attaining excellent merit, he displays wonderful and 
inconceivable works. 

Furthermore, each of the bodhisattvas in the assembly is able to visit 
various buddha lands and expound teachings of the Way. His manner of 
practice is pure and undefiled. Just as a magician with his perfect skill can 
create at will various illusions, including images of a man or a woman, so 
the bodhisattva, having thoroughly learned all the methods of liberation and 
attained serene awareness of reality, can freely teach and transform beings. 
He manifests himself everywhere in innumerable buddha lands, performing 
acts of compassion for sentient beings tirelessly and with diligence. He has 
thus obtained complete mastery of all such methods of liberation. 266b 

He is thoroughly conversant with the essentials of the sutras for bodhi- 
sattvas; and, as his fame spreads everywhere, he guides sentient beings 
throughout the ten directions. All buddhas remember him and give him their 
protection. He has already dwelled in all the Buddha's abodes and performed 
all the deeds of the Great Sage. He proclaims the Tathagata's teachings, acts 
as a great master for other bodhisattvas, and, with profound samadhi and 
wisdom, guides multitudes of beings. With penetrating insight into the essen- 
tial nature of dharmas, he discerns different aspects of living beings and 
closely watches over all the worlds. In making offerings to the buddhas, he 
manifests transformed bodies like flashes of lightning. Having well learned 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



the extensive wisdom of fearlessness in preaching and having realized the 
illusory nature of dharmas, he destroys Mara's nets and unties all the bonds 
of passion. He rises above the stages of sravakas and pratyekabuddhas and 
attains the samadhis of emptiness, non-form, and non-desire. He skillfully 
provides expedient means and thus reveals three distinct teachings. Then for 
those of the middle and lower stages, he demonstrates his passing into nir- 
vana. But, in reality, he is non-active and non-acquisitive, and, being aware 
that dharmas in themselves neither arise nor perish, he realizes that they are 
of absolute equality. He has attained innumerable dharams, a hundred thou- 
sand samadhis, and various kinds of spiritual faculties and wisdom. 

With the meditation of vast and universal tranquility, he enters deeply 
into the Dharma treasury for bodhisattvas. After attaining the buddha-garland 
samadhi, he proclaims and expounds all the sutras. While dwelling deep in 
meditation, he visualizes all the innumerable buddhas and in an instant vis- 
its every one of them. 

By elucidating and teaching the ultimate truth to sentient beings, he 
delivers them from the state of extreme pain, from the conditions in which 
suffering is so great as to prevent people from finding time for Buddhist 
practices, and also from the conditions in which suffering is not so great as 
to prevent them from doing so. Having attained the Tathagata's thorough 
knowledge and eloquence, he has fluent command of languages, with which 
he enlightens all beings. He is above all worldly affairs and his mind, always 
serene, dwells on the path of liberation; this gives him complete control over 
all dharmas. Without being asked to do so, he becomes a good friend to each 
of the multitude of beings and carries their heavy karmic burdens on his 
back. He upholds the Tathagata's profound Dharma treasury and protects 
the seeds of buddhahood, so that they may continue to multiply. Having 
awakened great compassion for sentient beings, he kindly expounds the 
teaching and endows them with the Dharma eye. He blocks the paths to the 
three evil realms, opens the gate of virtue, and, without waiting for their 
request, provides beings with the Dharma. He does this for the multitude of 
beings just as a dutiful son loves and respects his parents. He indeed looks 
upon sentient beings as his own self. 

With such roots of virtue, all the bodhisattvas in the assembly had reached 
the shore of liberation. They had acquired the buddhas' immeasurable merit 



The Larger Sutra 



and attained the sacred, pure, and inconceivable wisdom. Incalculable bodhi- 
sattvas and mahasattvas, such as these, assembled there all at once. 

3 At that time all the senses of the World-honored One radiated joy, his entire 
body appeared serene and glorious, and his august countenance looked most 
majestic. Having perceived the Buddha's holy intention, Venerable Ananda 
rose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, prostrated himself, and joining his 
palms in reverence, said to the Buddha, "World-honored One, today all your 
senses are radiant with joy, your body is serene and glorious, and your august 266c 
countenance is as majestic as a clear mirror whose brightness radiates outward 
and inward. The magnificence of your dignified appearance is unsurpassed 
and beyond measure. I have never seen you look so superb and majestic as 
today. With respect, Great Sage, this thought has occurred to me: 'Today, the 
World-honored One dwells in the rare and marvelous Dharma; today, the 
World Hero dwells in the Buddha's abode; today, the World Eye concentrates 
on the performance of the leader's duty; today, the World Valiant One dwells 
in the supreme bodhi; today, the One Most Honored in Heaven realizes the 
Tathagata's virtue. The buddhas of the past, present, and future contemplate 
each other. How can this present buddha not contemplate the other buddhas?' 
For what reason does his countenance look so majestic and brilliant?" 

Then the World-honored One said to Ananda, "Tell me, Ananda, whether 
some god urged you to put this question to the Buddha or whether you asked 
about his glorious countenance from your own wise observation." 

Ananda replied to the Buddha, "No god came to prompt me. I asked 
you about this matter of my own accord." 

The Buddha said, "Well said, Ananda. I am very pleased with your ques- 
tion. You have shown profound wisdom and subtle insight in asking me this 
wise question out of compassion for sentient beings. As the Tathagata, I 
regard beings of the three worlds with boundless great compassion. The rea- 
son for my appearance in the world is to reveal teachings of the Way and 
save multitudes of beings by endowing them with true benefits. Even in 
countless millions of kalpas it is difficult to come upon and meet a tatha- 
gata. It is as difficult as seeing an udumbara flower, which blooms very 
rarely. Your question is of great benefit and will enlighten all heavenly and 
human beings. Ananda, you should realize that the Tathagata's perfectly 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



enlightened wisdom is unfathomable, capable of leading innumerable beings 
to liberation, and that his penetrating insight cannot be obstructed. With just 
one meal, he is able to live for a hundred thousand kotis of kalpas, or an incal- 
culable and immeasurable length of time, or beyond. Even after that lapse of 
time, his senses will still be radiant with joy and show no signs of deteriora- 
tion; his appearance will not change and his august countenance will look 
just the same. The reason for this is that the Tathagata' s meditation and wis- 
dom are perfect and boundless and he has attained unrestricted power over 
all dharmas. Ananda, listen carefully. I shall now expound the Dharma." 
Ananda replied, "Yes, I will. With joy in my heart, I wish to hear the 
Dharma." 

4 The Buddha said to Ananda, "In the distant past — innumerable, incalcu- 
lable, and inconceivable kalpas ago — a tathagata named DTpahkara appeared 
in the world. Having taught and freed innumerable beings and led them all 
along the Way of enlightenment, he passed into nirvana. Next appeared a 
tathagata named Far-reaching Illumination. After him came Moonlight, and 
then Sandalwood Incense, King of Beautiful Mountains, Crown of Mount 
Sumeru, Brilliant like Mount Sumeru, Color of the Moon, Right Recollec- 
tion, Free of Defilement, Nonattachment, Dragon Deva, Nocturnal Light, 
Peaceful and Brilliant Peak, Immovable Ground, Exquisite Beryl Flower, 

267a Golden Beryl Luster, Gold Treasury, Flaming Light, Fiery Origin, Earth 
Shaking, Image of the Moon, Sound of the Sun, Flower of Freedom, Glori- 
ous Light, Miraculous Power of the Ocean of Enlightenment, Water Light, 
Great Fragrance, Free of Dust and Defilement, Abandoning Enmity, Flame 
of Jewels, Beautiful Peak, Heroic Stance, Merit-possessing Wisdom, Out- 
shining the Sun and Moon, Beryl Light of the Sun and Moon, Supreme Beryl 
Light, Highest Peak, Flower of Enlightenment, Brightness of the Moon, Sun- 
light, King of the Colors of Flowers, Moonlight on the Water, Dispelling the 
Darkness of Ignorance, Practice of Removing Hindrances, Pure Faith, Store- 
house of Good, Majestic Glory, Wisdom of the Dharma, Voice of the Phoenix, 
Roar of the Lion, Cry of the Dragon, and Dwelling in the World. All these 
buddhas have already passed into nirvana. 

5 "Then there appeared a buddha named Lokesvararaja, the Tathagata, Arhat, 
Fully Enlightened One, Possessed of Wisdom and Practice, Well-gone One, 



The Larger Sutra 



Knower of the World, Unsurpassed One, Tamer of Beings, Teacher of Gods 
and Humans, and Enlightened and World-honored One. 

"At that time there was a king who, having heard the Buddha's exposition 
of the Dharma, rejoiced in his heart and awakened aspiration for highest, per- 
fect enlightenment. He renounced his kingdom and throne, and became a monk 
named Dharmakara. Having superior intelligence, courage, and wisdom, he 
distinguished himself in the world. He went to see Tathagata Lokesvararaja, 
knelt down at his feet, walked around him three times keeping him always 
on his right, prostrated himself on the ground, and, putting his palms together 
in worship, praised the Buddha with these verses: 

1. The shining face of the Buddha is glorious; 
Boundless is his magnificence. 

Radiant splendor such as his 

Is beyond all comparison. 

The sun, the moon, and the mani-gem, 

Though shining with dazzling brightness, 

Are completely dimmed and obscured 

As if they were a pile of inksticks. 

2. The countenance of the Tathagata 

Is beyond compare in the whole world. 
The great voice of the Enlightened One 
Resounds throughout the ten directions. 
His morality, learning, endeavor, 
Absorption in meditation, wisdom, 
And magnificent virtues have no equal; 
They are wonderful and unsurpassed. 

3. He meditates deeply and directly 

On the oceanic Dharma of all buddhas. 

He knows its depth and breadth 

And penetrates to its farthest end. 

Ignorance, greed, and anger 

Are forever absent in the World-honored One. 

He is the lion, the most valiant of all men; 

His glorious virtue is unlimited. 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



4. His meritorious achievements are vast; 
His wisdom is deep and sublime. 

His light, with awe-inspiring glory, 
267b Shakes the universe of a thousand million worlds. 

I resolve to become a buddha, 

Equal in attainment to you, O Holy King of the Dharma, 
To save living beings from birth and death, 
And to lead them all to liberation. 

5. My discipline in giving (ddna), mind-control, 

Moral virtues (sila), patience (ksdnti), and effort (virya), 

And also 1 in meditation (dhyana) and wisdom (prajna), 

Will be supreme and unsurpassed. 

I vow that, when I have become a buddha, 

I shall carry out this promise everywhere; 

And to all fear-ridden beings 

Shall I give great peace. 

6. Even though there are buddhas 2 

A thousand million kotis in number, 

And multitudes of great sages 

Countless as the sands of the Ganges River, 

I shall make offerings 

To all those buddhas. 

I shall seek the supreme Way 

Resolutely and tirelessly. 

7. Even though the buddha lands are as incalculable 
As the sands of the Ganges River, 

And other regions and worlds 

Are also without number, 

My light shall reach everywhere, 

Pervading all those lands. 

Such being the result of my efforts, 

My glorious power will be immeasurable. 

8. When I have become a buddha, 
My land shall be most exquisite 



10 



The Larger Sutra 



And its people wonderful and unexcelled; 
The seat of enlightenment will be supreme. 
My land, being like nirvana itself, 
Will be beyond comparison. 
I take pity on living beings 
And resolve to save them all. 

9. Those who come from the ten directions 
Will find joy and serenity of heart; 
When they reach my land, 

They shall dwell in peace and happiness. 
I beg you, the Buddha, to become my witness 
And to vouch for the truth of my aspiration. 
Having now made my vows to you, 
I will strive to fulfill them. 

10. The World-honored Ones in the ten directions 
Have unhindered wisdom; 

I call upon those Revered Ones 

To bear witness to my intention. 

Even though I must remain 

In a state of extreme pain, 

I will diligently practice, 

Enduring all hardships with tireless vigor." 

6 The Buddha said to Ananda, "Having spoken these verses, Bhiksu Dharma- 
kara said to Buddha Lokesvararaja, 'Respectfully, World-honored One, I 
announce that I have awakened aspiration for highest, perfect enlightenment. 
I beseech you to explain the Dharma to me fully, so that I can perform prac- 
tices for the establishment of a pure buddha land adorned with innumerable 
excellent qualities. So please teach me how to attain enlightenment quickly 
and to remove the roots of the afflictions of birth and death of all.'" 

The Buddha said to Ananda, "At that time Buddha Lokesvararaja replied 
to Bhiksu Dharmakara, 'You yourself should know by what practice you can 
establish a glorious buddha land.' The bhiksu said to the Buddha, 'That is far 
too vast and deep for my comprehension. I sincerely beseech you, World- 
honored One, to explain in detail the practices by which buddha tathagatas 



11 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



established their pure lands. After I hear that, I wish to practice as instructed 
and so fulfill my aspirations.' 

"At that time Buddha Lokesvararaja recognized Bhiksu Dharmakara's 
noble and high aspirations and taught him as follows: 'If, for example, one 
keeps on bailing water out of a great ocean with a pint measure, 3 one will be 
267c able to reach the bottom after many kalpas and then obtain rare treasures. Like- 
wise, if one sincerely, diligently, and unceasingly seeks the Way, one will be 
able to reach one's destination. What vow is there that cannot be fulfilled?' 

"Then Buddha Lokesvararaja explained in detail the greater and lesser 
aspects of two hundred and ten kotis of buddha lands, together with the good 
and evil natures of heavenly and human beings living there. He revealed 
them all to the bhiksu just as he had requested. Then the bhiksu, having heard 
the Buddha's exposition of the glorious pure lands and also having seen all 
of them, resolved upon his supreme, unsurpassed vows. His mind being 
serene and his aspirations free of attachment, he was unexcelled throughout 
the world. For five full kalpas he contemplated the vows and then chose the 
pure practices for the establishment of his buddha land." 

Ananda asked the Buddha, "How long was the lifespan of beings in the 
land of Buddha Lokesvararaja?" 4 

The Buddha replied, "The length of life of that buddha was forty-two 
kalpas." 

He continued, "After that, Dharmakara Bodhisattva adopted the pure 
practices that had led to the establishment of the excellent lands of two hun- 
dred and ten kotis of buddhas. When he had finished this task, he went to 
the Buddha, knelt down at his feet, walked around him three times, joined 
his palms in worship, and sat down. He then said to the Buddha, 'I have 
adopted the pure practices for the establishment of a glorious buddha land.' 
The Buddha said to him, 'You should proclaim this. Know that now is the 
right time. Encourage and delight the entire assembly. Hearing this, other 
bodhisattvas will practice this Dharma and so fulfill their innumerable great 
vows.' The bhiksu replied, 'I beg you to grant me your attention. Now I will 
fully proclaim my vows.' 

7 1 . If, when I attain buddhahood, there should be in my land a hell, a realm of 
hungry ghosts, or a realm of animals, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 



12 



The Larger Sutra 



2. If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 
after death fall again into the three evil realms, may I not attain perfect enlight- 
enment. 

3. If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 
not all be the color of pure gold, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

4. If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 
not all be of one appearance, and should there be any difference in their 
beauty, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

5. If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 
not remember all their former lives, not knowing 5 at least the events that 
occurred during the previous hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of kalpas, 
may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

6. If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 
not possess the divine eye of seeing at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayu- 
tas of buddha lands, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

7. If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 

not possess the divine ear of hearing the teachings of at least a hundred thou- 268a 
sand kotis of nayutas of buddhas and should not remember all of them, may 
I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

8. If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 
not possess the faculty of knowing the thoughts of others, at least those of 
all sentient beings living in a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of buddha 
lands, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

9. If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 
not possess the supernatural power of traveling anywhere in one instant, even 
beyond a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of buddha lands, may I not attain 
perfect enlightenment. 

10. If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 
give rise to thoughts of self-attachment, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

1 1 . If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 
not dwell in the definitely assured stage and unfailingly reach nirvana, may 
I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

12. If, when I attain buddhahood, my light should be limited, illumi- 
nating even a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of buddha lands, may I not 
attain perfect enlightenment. 



13 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



13. If, when I attain buddhahood, my lifespan should be limited, even 
to the extent of a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of kalpas, may I not 
attain perfect enlightenment. 

14. If, when I attain buddhahood, the number of the sravakas in my land 
could be known, even if all the beings and pratyekabuddhas living in this 
universe of a thousand million worlds should count them during a hundred 
thousand kalpas, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

15. If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 
have limited lifespans, except when they wish to shorten them in accordance 
with their original vows, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

16. If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 
even hear of any wrongdoing, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

17. If, when I attain buddhahood, innumerable buddhas in the lands of 
the ten directions should not all praise and glorify my Name, may I not attain 
perfect enlightenment. 

18. If, when I attain buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten 
directions who sincerely and joyfully entrust themselves to me, desire to be 
born in my land, and think of me even ten times 6 should not be born there, 
may I not attain perfect enlightenment. Excluded, however, are those who 
commit the five grave offenses and abuse the Right Dharma. 

19. If, when I attain buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten 
directions who awaken aspiration for enlightenment, do various meritorious 

268b deeds, and sincerely desire to be born in my land, should not, at their death, 
see me appear before them surrounded by a multitude of sages, may I not 
attain perfect enlightenment. 

20. If, when I attain buddhahood, sentient beings in the lands of the ten 
directions who, having heard my Name, concentrate their thoughts on my 
land, plant roots of virtue, and sincerely transfer their merits toward my land 
with a desire to be born there should not eventually fulfill their aspiration, 
may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

2 1 . If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 
not all be endowed with the thirty-two physical characteristics of a great 
being, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

22. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the buddha lands of 
the other directions who visit my land should not ultimately and unfailingly 



14 



The Larger Sutra 



reach the stage of becoming a buddha after one more life, may I not attain 
perfect enlightenment. Excepted are those who wish to teach and guide sen- 
tient beings in accordance with their original vows. For they will wear the 
armor of great vows, accumulate merit, deliver all beings from birth and 
death, visit buddha lands to perform the bodhisattva practices, make offer- 
ings to buddha tathagatas throughout the ten directions, enlighten countless 
sentient beings as numerous as the sands of the Ganges River, and establish 
them in highest, perfect enlightenment. Such bodhisattvas transcend the 
course of practice of ordinary bodhisattvas, manifest the practices of all the 
bodhisattva stages, and cultivate the virtues of Samantabhadra. 

23. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land who would 
make offerings to buddhas through my divine power should not be able to 
reach immeasurable and innumerable kotis of nayutas of buddha lands in as 
short a time as it takes to eat a meal, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

24. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land should not 
be able, as they wish, to perform meritorious acts of worshiping the buddhas 
with the offerings of their choice, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

25. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land should not 
be able to expound the Dharma with all-knowing wisdom, may I not attain 
perfect enlightenment. 

26. If, when I attain buddhahood, there should be any bodhisattva in my 
land not endowed with the body of the Vajra god Narayana, may I not attain 
perfect enlightenment. 

27. If, when I attain buddhahood, sentient beings should be able, even 
with the divine eye, to distinguish by name and calculate by number all the 
myriads of manifestations provided for the humans and devas in my land, 
which will be glorious and resplendent and have exquisite details beyond 
description, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

28. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land, even those 

with little store of merit, should not be able to see the bodhi tree, which has 268c 
immeasurable light in countless colors and is four million li in height, may 
I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

29. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land should not 
acquire eloquence and wisdom in upholding sutras and reciting and expound- 
ing them, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 



15 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



30. If, when I attain buddhahood, the wisdom and eloquence of bodhi- 
sattvas in my land should be limited, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

3 1 . If, when I attain buddhahood, my land should not be resplendent, 
revealing in its light all the immeasurable, innumerable, and inconceivable 
buddha lands like images reflected in a clear mirror, may I not attain perfect 
enlightenment. 

32. If, when I attain buddhahood, all the myriads of manifestations in 
my land, from the ground to the sky, such as palaces, pavilions, ponds, 
streams, and trees, should not be composed both of countless treasures that 
surpass in supreme excellence anything in the worlds of humans and devas 
and of a hundred thousand kinds of aromatic wood whose fragrance per- 
vades all the worlds of the ten directions, causing all bodhisattvas who sense 
it to perform Buddhist practices, then may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

33. If, when I attain buddhahood, sentient beings in the immeasurable and 
inconceivable buddha lands of the ten directions who have been touched by 
my light should not feel peace and happiness in their bodies and minds sur- 
passing those of humans and devas, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

34. If, when I attain buddhahood, sentient beings in the immeasurable 
and inconceivable buddha lands of the ten directions who have heard my 
Name should not gain the bodhisattva's insight into the non-arising of all 
dharmas and should not acquire various profound dharanis, may I not attain 
perfect enlightenment. 

35. If, when I attain buddhahood, women in the immeasurable and incon- 
ceivable buddha lands of the ten directions who, having heard my Name, 
rejoice in faith, awaken aspiration for enlightenment, and wish to renounce 
womanhood should after death be reborn again as women, may I not attain 
perfect enlightenment. 

36. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the immeasurable and 
inconceivable buddha lands of the ten directions who have heard my Name 
should not, after the end of their lives, always perform sacred practices until 
they reach buddhahood, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

37. If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in the immeasur- 
able and inconceivable buddha lands of the ten directions who, having heard 

269a my Name, prostrate themselves on the ground to revere and worship me, 



16 



The Larger Sutra 



rejoice in faith, and perform the bodhisattva practices should not be respected 
by all devas and people of the world, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

38. If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 
not obtain clothing as soon as such a desire arises in their minds, and if fine 
robes as prescribed and praised by the buddhas should not be spontaneously 
provided for them to wear, and if these clothes should need sewing, bleach- 
ing, dyeing, or washing, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

39. If, when I attain buddhahood, humans and devas in my land should 
not enjoy happiness and pleasure comparable to those of a monk who has 
exhausted all the passions, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

40. If, when I attain buddhahood, the bodhisattvas in my land who wish 
to see the immeasurable glorious buddha lands of the ten directions should 
not be able to view all of them reflected in the jeweled trees, just as one sees 
one's face reflected in a clear mirror, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

41. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other 
directions who hear my Name should, at any time before becoming buddhas, 
have impaired, inferior, or incomplete sense organs, may I not attain perfect 
enlightenment. 

42. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other 
directions who hear my Name should not all attain the samadhi called "pure 
liberation" and, while dwelling therein, should not, without losing concentra- 
tion, be able to make offerings in one instant to immeasurable and inconceiv- 
able buddhas, World-honored Ones, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

43. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other 
directions who hear my Name should not be reborn into noble families after 
death, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

44. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other 
directions who hear my Name should not rejoice so greatly as to dance and 
perform the bodhisattva practices and should not acquire stores of merit, 
may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

45. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other 
directions who hear my Name should not all attain the samadhi called "uni- 
versal equality" and, while dwelling therein, should not always be able to 
see the immeasurable and inconceivable 7 tathagatas until those bodhisattvas, 
too, become buddhas, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 



17 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



46. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in my land should not 
be able to hear spontaneously whatever teachings they may wish, may I not 

269b attain perfect enlightenment. 

47. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other 
directions who hear my Name should not instantly reach the stage of non- 
retrogression, may I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

48. If, when I attain buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the lands of the other 
directions who hear my Name should not instantly gain the first, second, and 
third insights into the nature of dharmas and firmly abide in the truths real- 
ized by all the buddhas, may I not attain perfect enlightenment.'" 

8 The Buddha said to Ananda, "Bhiksu Dharmakara, having thus proclaimed 
those vows, spoke the following verses: 

1 . I have made vows, unrivaled in all the world; 
I shall certainly reach the unsurpassed Way. 
If these vows should not be fulfilled, 

May I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

2. If I should not become a great benefactor 
In lives to come for immeasurable kalpas 

To save the poor and the afflicted everywhere, 
May I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

3 . When I attain buddhahood, 

My Name will be heard throughout the ten directions; 
Should there be any place where it is not heard, 
May I not attain perfect enlightenment. 

4. Free of greed and with profound mindfulness 

And pure wisdom, I will perform the sacred practices; 
I will seek to attain the unsurpassed Way 
And become the teacher of devas and humans. 

5. With my divine power I will display great light, 
Illuminating the worlds without limit, 

And dispel the darkness of the three defilements; 
Thus I will deliver all beings from misery. 



18 



The Larger Sutra 



6. Having obtained the eye of wisdom, 

I will remove the darkness of ignorance; 

I will block all evil paths 

And open the gate to the good realms. 

7. When merits and virtues are perfected, 

My majestic light will radiate in the ten directions, 

Outshining the sun and moon 

And surpassing the brilliance of the heavens. 

8. I will open the Dharma storehouse for the multitudes 
And endow them all with treasures of merit. 

Being always among the multitudes, 

I will proclaim the Dharma with the lion's roar. 

9. I will make offerings to all the buddhas, 
Thereby acquiring roots of virtue. 

When my vows are fulfilled and wisdom perfected, 
I shall be the sovereign of the three worlds. 

10. Like your unhindered wisdom, O Buddha, 
Mine shall reach everywhere, illuminating all; 
May my supreme wisdom 

Be like yours, Most Honored One. 

11. If these vows are to be fulfilled, 

Let this universe of a thousand million worlds quake in response 

And let all the devas in heaven 269c 

Rain down rare and marvelous flowers. '" 

9 The Buddha said to Ananda, "As soon as Bhiksu Dharmakara spoke those 
verses, the entire earth quaked in six ways and a rain of wonderful flowers 
fell from heaven, scattering everywhere. Spontaneous music was heard and 
a voice in the sky said, 'Surely you will attain highest, perfect enlightenment.' 

"Then Bhiksu Dharmakara kept all those great vows, which were true, 
unfailing, and unsurpassed in the whole world, and intensely aspired to attain 
nirvana. 

"Then, Ananda, after proclaiming and establishing those universal vows 
in the presence of Buddha Lokesvararaja before the multitude of beings, 



19 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



including the eight kinds of superhuman beings, such as devas and dragon 
spirits, and also Mara and Brahma, Bhiksu Dharmakara was solely intent on 
producing a glorious and exquisite land. The buddha land that he sought to 
establish was vast in extent, unsurpassed, and supremely wonderful, always 
present and subject neither to decay nor change. During inconceivable and 
innumerable kalpas, he cultivated the immeasurable meritorious practices 
of the bodhisattva path. 

"He did not harbor any thought of greed, hatred, or cruelty; nor did he 
allow any ideas of greed, hatred, or cruelty to arise. He was unattached to 
any form, sound, smell, taste, touch, or idea. Possessed of the power to per- 
severe, he did not avoid undergoing various afflictions. Having little desire 
for his own sake, he knew contentment. Without any impure thought, enmity, 
or stupidity, he dwelled continually in tranquil samadhi. His wisdom was 
unobstructible and his mind free of falsehood and deceitfulness. With expres- 
sions of tenderness on his face and with kindness in his speech, he spoke to 
others in consonance with their inner thoughts. Courageous and diligent, 
strong willed and untiring, he devoted himself solely to the pursuit of the 
pure Dharma, thereby benefiting a multitude of beings. He revered the Three 
Treasures, respected his teachers and elders, and thus adorned his practices 
with a great store of merit. By so doing, he enabled sentient beings to par- 
take of them. 

"He dwelled in the realization that all dharmas are empty, devoid of 
distinctive features, and not to be sought after, and that they neither act nor 
arise; he thus realized that all dharmas are like magical creations. He avoided 
all wrong speech that would bring harm upon himself or others or both; he 
engaged in right speech that would bring benefit to himself or others or both. 
He abandoned his kingdom and renounced the throne, leaving behind wealth 
and sensuous pleasures. Practicing the six paramitas himself, he taught oth- 
ers to do the same. During innumerable kalpas, he accumulated merit and 
amassed virtues. 

"Wherever he was born, an immeasurable store of treasure spontaneously 
appeared as he wished. He taught countless sentient beings and guided them 
on the path of highest, true enlightenment. He was reborn as a rich man, a 
lay devotee, a member of the highest caste or of noble family (brahman), a 
ksatriya king, a wheel-turning monarch (cakravartin), a king of one of the 



20 



The Larger Sutra 



six heavens in the world of desire, or even higher, as a Brahma king. He 
revered and worshiped all buddhas by making the four kinds of offerings to 
them. The merit he thus acquired was indescribably great. Fragrance issued 
from his mouth as from a blue lotus flower, and every pore of his body emit- 
ted the scent of sandalwood, which permeated innumerable worlds. His appear- 
ance was majestic and his physical characteristics and marks were truly won- 
derful. From his hands inexhaustible treasures, clothes, food and drink, rare 
and exquisite flowers and incense, silken canopies, 8 banners, and other orna- 270a 
ments were produced. In such manifestations he was unrivaled among all 
heavenly and human beings. He thus attained command of all dharmas." 

10 Ananda asked the Buddha, "Has Bodhisattva Dharmakara already attained 
buddhahood and then passed into nirvana? Or has he not yet attained buddha- 
hood? Or is he dwelling somewhere at present?" 

The Buddha replied to Ananda, "Bodhisattva Dharmakara has already 
attained buddhahood and is now dwelling in a western buddha land called 
'Peace and Bliss,' a hundred thousand kotis of lands away from here." 

Ananda further asked the Buddha, "How much time has passed since 
he attained buddhahood?" 

The Buddha replied, "Since he attained buddhahood about ten kalpas 
have passed." 

He continued, "In that buddha land, the earth is composed of seven kinds 
of jewels — namely, gold, silver, beryl, coral, amber, agate, and ruby — that 
have spontaneously appeared. The land itself is so vast, spreading bound- 
lessly to the farthest extent, that it is impossible to know its limit. All the 
rays of light from those jewels intermingle and create manifold reflections, 
producing a dazzling illumination. Those pure, superb, and exquisite adorn- 
ments are unsurpassed in all the worlds of the ten directions. They are the 
finest of all gems and are like those of the sixth heaven. In that land, there 
are no mountains, such as Mount Sumeru and the Encircling Adamantine 
Mountains. Likewise, there are neither oceans nor seas and neither valleys 
nor gorges. But one can see those manifestations by the Buddha's power if 
one so wishes. In that land there is no hell; neither are there realms of hun- 
gry ghosts or animals nor other adverse conditions. Neither do the four sea- 
sons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter exist. It is always moderate and 
pleasant, never cold or hot." 



21 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



Then Ananda asked the Buddha, "If, World-honored One, there is no 
Mount Sumeru in that land, what sustains the Heaven of the Four Kings and 
the Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods?" 

The Buddha said to Ananda, "What sustains Yama, which is the third 
heaven of the world of desire, and other heavens up to the highest heaven 
of the world of form?" 

Ananda answered, "The consequences of karma are inconceivable." 

The Buddha said to Ananda, "Inconceivable indeed are the consequences 
of karma, and so are the worlds of the buddhas. By the power of meritori- 
ous deeds, sentient beings in that land dwell on the ground of karmic reward. 
That is why those heavens exist without Mount Sumeru." 

Ananda continued, "I do not doubt this myself but have asked about it 
simply because I wished to remove such doubts for the benefit of sentient 
beings in the future." 

11 The Buddha said to Ananda, "The majestic light of Buddha Amitayus is 
the most exalted. No other buddha's light can match his. The light of some 
buddhas illuminates a hundred buddha lands, and that of others a thousand 
buddha lands. Briefly, that of Amitayus illuminates the eastern buddha lands 
as numerous as the sands of the Ganges River. In the same way, it illumi- 
nates the buddha lands in the south, west, and north, in each of the four inter- 
mediate directions, and above and below. Further, the light of some buddhas 
extends seven feet; that of others, one yojana, or two, three, four, or five 
yojanas; and the distance covered increases in this way until the light of 
some buddhas illuminates one buddha land. 

"For this reason, Amitayus is called by the following names: the Buddha 
of Infinite Light, the Buddha of Boundless Light, the Buddha of Unhindered 
270b Light, the Buddha of Incomparable Light, the Buddha of the Light of the 
King of Flame, the Buddha of Pure Light, the Buddha of the Light of Joy, 
the Buddha of the Light of Wisdom, the Buddha of Unceasing Light, the 
Buddha of Inconceivable Light, the Buddha of Ineffable Light, and the 
Buddha of the Light Outshining the Sun and Moon. 

"If sentient beings encounter his light, their three defilements are removed; 
they feel tenderness, joy, and pleasure; and good thoughts arise. If sentient 
beings in the three realms of suffering see his light they will all be relieved 
and freed from affliction. At the end of their lives they all reach liberation. 



22 



The Larger Sutra 



"The light of Amitayus shines brilliantly, illuminating all the buddha 
lands of the ten directions. There is no place where it is not perceived. I am 
not the only one who now praises his light. All the buddhas, srdvakas, 
pratyekabuddhas, and bodhisattvas praise and glorify it in the same way. If 
sentient beings, having heard of the majestic virtue of his light, glorify it 
continually, day and night, with sincerity of heart, they will be able to attain 
birth in his land as they wish. Then the multitudes of bodhisattvas and srd- 
vakas will praise their excellent virtue. Later, when they attain buddhahood, 
all the buddhas and bodhisattvas in the ten directions will praise their light, 
just as I now praise the light of Amitayus." 

The Buddha continued, "The majestic glory of the light of Amitayus 
could not be exhaustively described even if I praised it continually, day and 
night, for a period of one kalpa." 

12 The Buddha said to Ananda, "The lifespan of Amitayus is so long that it 
is impossible for anyone to calculate it. To give an illustration, let us sup- 
pose that all the innumerable sentient beings in the worlds of the ten direc- 
tions were reborn in human form and that every one became a srdvaka or 
pratyekabuddha. Even if they assembled in one place, concentrated their 
thoughts, and exercised the power of their wisdom to the utmost to reckon 
the length of the Buddha's lifespan by the number of kalpas, even after a 
thousand million kalpas they could still not reach its limit. So it is with the 
lifespan of srdvakas, bodhisattvas, heavenly beings, and human beings in 
his land. Similarly, it is not to be encompassed by any means of reckoning 
or by any metaphorical expression. Again, the number of srdvakas and bodhi- 
sattvas living there is incalculable. They are fully endowed with transcen- 
dent wisdom and free in their exercise of majestic power; they could hold 
the entire world in their hands." 

13 The Buddha said to Ananda, "The number of srdvakas at the first teach- 
ing assembly of that buddha was incalculable; so was the number of bodhi- 
sattvas. Even if an immeasurable and countless number of humans multi- 
plied by millions of kotis should all become like Mahamaudgalyayana and 
together reckon their number during innumerable nayutas of kalpas, or even 
until they attain nirvana, they still could not know that number. Let us sup- 
pose that there is a great ocean, infinitely deep and wide, and that one takes 



23 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



270c a drop of water out of it with a one -hundredth part of a split hair. How would 
you compare that drop of water with the rest of the ocean?" 

Ananda replied, "When the drop of water is compared with the great 
ocean, it is impossible even for one skilled in astronomy or mathematics to 
know the proportion, or for anyone to describe it by any rhetorical or 
metaphorical expression." 

The Buddha said to Ananda, "Even if people like Mahamaudgalyayana 
were to count for millions of kotis of kalpas, the number of the sravakas and 
bodhisattvas at the first teaching assembly who could be counted would be 
like a drop of water, and the number of sages yet to be counted would be 
like the rest of the ocean. 

14 "Again, seven-jeweled trees completely fill that land. There are some 
made of gold, some of silver, and others made of beryl, crystal, coral, ruby, 
or agate. There are also trees made of two to seven kinds of jewels. 

"There are gold trees with leaves, flowers, and fruits of silver; silver 
trees with leaves, flowers, and fruits of gold; beryl trees with leaves, flow- 
ers, and fruits of crystal; crystal trees with leaves, flowers, and fruits of beryl; 
coral trees with leaves, flowers, and fruits of ruby; ruby trees with leaves, 
flowers, and fruits of beryl; agate trees with leaves, flowers, and fruits made 
of various jewels. 

"Again, there are jeweled trees with purple-gold roots, white-silver 
trunks, beryl branches, crystal twigs, coral leaves, ruby flowers, and agate 
fruits. There are jeweled trees with white-silver roots, beryl trunks, crystal 
branches, coral twigs, ruby leaves, agate flowers, and purple-gold fruits. 
There are jeweled trees with beryl roots, crystal trunks, coral branches, ruby 
twigs, agate leaves, purple-gold flowers, and white-silver fruits. There are 
jeweled trees with crystal roots, coral trunks, ruby branches, agate twigs, 
purple -gold leaves, white-silver flowers, and beryl fruits. There are jeweled 
trees with coral roots, ruby trunks, agate branches, purple-gold twigs, white- 
silver leaves, beryl flowers, and crystal fruits. There are jeweled trees with 
ruby roots, agate trunks, purple-gold branches, white-silver twigs, beryl 
leaves, crystal flowers, and coral fruits. There are jeweled trees with agate 
roots, purple-gold trunks, white-silver branches, beryl twigs, crystal leaves, 
coral flowers, and ruby fruits. 



24 



The Larger Sutra 



"These jeweled trees are in parallel rows, their trunks are evenly spaced, 
their branches are in level layers, their leaves are symmetrical, their flowers 
harmonize, and their fruits are well arranged. The brilliant colors of these 
trees are so luxuriant that it is impossible to see them all. When a fresh breeze 271a 
wafts through them, exquisite sounds of the pentatonic scales, such as gong 
and shang, spontaneously arise and make symphonic music. 

15 "Again, the bodhi tree of Buddha Amitayus is four million li in height 
and five thousand yojanas in circumference at its base. Its branches spread 
two hundred thousand /;' in each of the four directions. It is a natural cluster 
of all kinds of precious stones and is adorned with the kings of jewels, namely, 
moonbright mani-gems and ocean-supporting wheel gems. Everywhere 
between its twigs hang jeweled ornaments with a thousand million different 
colors intermingling in various ways, and their innumerable beams shine 
with the utmost brilliance. The bodhi tree itself is covered with nets of rare, 
excellent gems, and on it appear all kinds of ornaments in accordance with 
one's wishes. 

"When a gentle breeze wafts through its branches and leaves, innumer- 
able exquisite Dharma sounds arise, which spread far and wide, pervading 
all the other buddha lands in the ten directions. Those who hear the sounds 
attain penetrating insight into dharmas and dwell in the stage of non-retro- 
gression. Until they attain buddhahood, their senses of hearing will remain 
clear and sharp 9 and they will not suffer from any pain or sickness. Whether 
they hear the sounds of the bodhi tree, see its colors, smell its perfume, taste 
its flavors, perceive its lights, or conceive of the Dharma in their minds, they 
all attain profoundly penetrating insight into dharma?, and dwell in the stage 
of non-retrogression. Until they attain buddhahood, their six sense organs will 
remain sharp and clear and they will not suffer from any pain or sickness. 

"Ananda, when humans and devas of that land see the bodhi tree, they 
will attain three insights: first, insight into reality through hearing the sacred 
sounds; second, insight into reality by being in accord with it; and third, 
insight into the non-arising of all dharmas. These benefits are all bestowed 
by the majestic power of Amitayus, the power of his Original Vow, his per- 
fectly fulfilled vow, his clear and manifest vow, his firm vow, and his accom- 
plished vow." 



25 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



The Buddha said to Ananda, "A king of this world possesses a hundred 
thousand kinds of music. From the realm ruled by a wheel-turning monarch 
up to the sixth heaven [of the world of desire], the sounds of the music pro- 
duced in each higher realm are ten million kotis of times superior to those 
of a lower one. The thousands of varieties of musical sound produced in the 
sixth heaven are a thousand kotis of times inferior to one sound produced by 
the seven-jeweled trees in the land of Amitayus. Again, in that land, there 
are thousands of varieties of spontaneous music, which are all, without excep- 
tion, sounds of the Dharma. They are clear and serene, full of depth and res- 
onance, delicate, and harmonious; they are the most excellent sounds in all 
the worlds of the ten directions. 

16 "Again, the halls, monasteries, palaces, and pavilions are spontaneous 
apparitions, all adorned with the seven kinds of jewels and hung with cur- 
tains of various other jewels, such as pearls and moonbright mani-gems. 

"Inside and out, to right and left, are bathing ponds. Some of them are 
ten yojanas in length, breadth, and depth; some are twenty yojanas; others, 
thirty; and so on, until we come to those measuring a hundred thousand yojanas 
in length, breadth, and depth. They are full to the brim with the water that 
possesses the eight excellent qualities, clear, fragrant, and tasting like nectar. 
271b "There are golden ponds with beds of silver sand; silver ponds with beds 

of golden sand; crystal ponds with beds of beryl sand; beryl ponds with beds 
of crystal sand; coral ponds with beds of amber sand; amber ponds with beds 
of coral sand; agate ponds with beds of ruby sand; ruby ponds with beds of 
agate sand; white jade ponds with beds of purple-gold sand; purple-gold ponds 
with beds of white jade sand. Others are composed of two to seven jewels. 

"On the banks of these ponds are sandalwood trees, whose flowers and 
leaves hang down and diffuse perfumes everywhere. Heavenly lotuses, blue, 
pink, yellow, and white, bloom profusely in various tints and tones, com- 
pletely covering the surface of the water. 

"If bodhisattvas and sravakas in that land enter the jeweled ponds and 
wish the water to rise to their ankles, it rises to their ankles. If they wish it 
to rise to their knees, it rises to their knees. If they wish it to rise to their 
waists, it rises to their waists. If they wish it to rise to their necks, it rises to 
their necks. If they wish it to pour over their bodies, it spontaneously pours 



26 



The Larger Sutra 



over their bodies. If they wish it to recede, it recedes. Its temperature is mod- 
erate, cool, or warm according to their wishes. The water comforts the body 
and refreshes the mind, washing away their mental defilements. Clear and 
pure, the water is so transparent that it seems formless. The jewel sand shines 
so brightly that even the depth of the water cannot prevent its brilliance from 
being seen. The rippling water forms meandering streams, which join and 
flow into each other. Their movement is peaceful and quiet, neither too fast 
nor too slow, and their ripples spontaneously produce innumerable won- 
derful sounds. One can hear whatever sound one wishes. For example, some 
hear the sound 'Buddha,' some hear the sound 'Dharma,' some 'Sangha,' 
others hear 'tranquility,' 'emptiness and no-self,' 'great compassion,' 
'paramita, ' 'ten powers,' 'fearlessness,' 'special qualities,' 'supernatural 
powers,' 'non-activity,' 'neither arising nor perishing,' 'insight into the non- 
arising of all dharmas,'' and so on until the various sounds of the wonderful 
Dharma, such as 'the sprinkling of nectar upon the head of a bodhisattva,' 
are reached. As one hears those sounds, one attains immeasurable joy and 
accords with the principles of purity, absence of desires, extinction, and real- 
ity. One is in harmony with the Three Treasures, the Buddha's powers, fear- 
lessness, and special qualities, and also with supernatural powers and other 
methods of practice for bodhisattvas and sravakas. Not even the names of 
the three realms of suffering are heard there, but only nirvanic sounds of 
bliss. For this reason, that land is called 'Peace and Bliss.' 

17 "Ananda, those born in that buddha land are endowed with such bodies 
of purity and provided with various exquisite sounds, supernatural powers, 
and virtues. The palaces in which they dwell; their clothing, food, and drink; 
the wonderful flowers; and the various kinds of incense and adornments are 
like those naturally provided in the sixth heaven of the world of desire. 
"At mealtimes, plates made of the seven kinds of jewels — gold, silver, 
beryl, agate, ruby, coral, and amber, and also of moonbright pearl — sponta- 271c 
neously appear, filled with food and drink of a hundred tastes according to 
one's wishes. Although the food is offered no one actually eats it. Once it 
has been seen and smelled, one naturally feels that it has been eaten and so 
is satisfied; thus one feels relaxed in mind and body, free from attachment 
to the sense of taste. When the meal is over everything disappears, but it 
reappears at the next mealtime. 



27 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



"That buddha land, like the realm of unconditioned nirvana, is pure and 
serene, resplendent and blissful. The sravakas, bodhisattvas, heavenly beings, 
and humans there have lofty and brilliant wisdom and are masters of the 
supernatural powers. They are all of one form, without any differences, but 
are called 'heavenly beings' and 'humans' simply by analogy with states of 
existence in other worlds. They are of noble and majestic countenance, 
unequaled in all the worlds, and their appearance is superb, unmatched by 
any being, heavenly or human. They are all endowed with bodies of natu- 
ralness, emptiness, and infinity." 

18 The Buddha said to Ananda, "If a beggar in extreme poverty sits by the 
side of a king, how can their appearances be compared?" 

Ananda replied, "If such a man sits by the side of a king, his emaciated, 
mean, and ragged appearance cannot be compared with the king's. His appear- 
ance is a thousand million kotis or even incalculable times inferior to the 
king's. What is the reason for this? The conditions of a beggar in extreme 
poverty — being at the lowest social level, with barely enough clothes to cover 
his body, scarcely enough food to sustain his life, with hunger and cold 
always tormenting him, and having almost lost human contact — are all the 
result of his misdeeds in former lives. In the past he did not cultivate roots 
of virtue but instead accumulated riches without giving anything to others. 
He became more miserly as his wealth increased, desired to obtain more, 
insatiably hankered after further acquisitions, and gave no thought to good 
acts. Thus he piled up a mountain of evil karma. When his life ended all his 
wealth was gone, and what he had accumulated with great toil and worry 
was of no avail to him; all passed in vain into the possession of others. Hav- 
ing no store of merit on which to depend and no virtue on which to rely, after 
death he fell into one of the evil realms, where he suffered pain for a long 
period. When his karmic retributions ended, he was able to escape but was 
reborn into a lower class; being foolish, base, and inferior, he barely main- 
tains the appearance of a human being. 

"The king of a country is the most honored of all men. This is the reward 
for virtues accumulated in former lives, in which he, with a compassionate 
heart, gave generously to many, saved people from suffering through kind- 
ness and benevolence, performed good deeds with sincerity, and never dis- 
puted with others. When that life ended, he was rewarded with rebirth into 



28 



The Larger Sutra 



a higher state. Born in a heavenly realm, he enjoyed bliss and happiness. His 
accumulated virtues produced such a surplus of good that when he was reborn 
as a man in this life his birth was, deservedly, into a royal family. Since he 
is naturally noble, his dignified and majestic demeanor commands the respect 
of his people, and superb clothes and sumptuous food are prepared and served 
to him as he pleases. All this is a reward for virtues in his former lives." 

19 The Buddha said to Ananda, "What you say is true. Even though a king 
is the noblest of all men and has a regal countenance, if he is compared with 
a wheel-turning monarch he will appear as base and inferior as a beggar 
beside a king. Likewise, however excellent and unrivaled the majestic appear- 
ance of such a monarch may be, if he is compared with the lord of the Heaven 272a 
of the Thirty -three Gods, he will also appear incomparably inferior, even ten 
thousand kotis of times more so. Again, if this heavenly lord is compared 

with the lord of the sixth heaven, he will appear a hundred thousand kofis of 
times inferior. If the lord of the sixth heaven is compared with a bodhisattva 
or a sravaka dwelling in the land of Amitayus, his countenance and appear- 
ance will be far from equal to that of the bodhisattva or sravaka, being a 
thousand million kofis of times or even incalculable times inferior." 

20 The Buddha said to Ananda, "Devas and humans in the land of Amitayus 
are each provided with robes, food and drink, flowers, perfume, ornaments, 
silken canopies, 10 and banners, and are surrounded by exquisite sounds. Their 
abodes, palaces, and pavilions are exactly in accordance with the size of their 
bodies. One, two, or even innumerable jewels appear before them, as soon 
as they wish. In addition, beautiful jeweled fabric covers the ground where 
all the devas and humans walk. In that buddha land there are innumerable 
jeweled nets, all adorned with skeins of gold thread, pearls, and a hundred 
thousand kinds of rare and marvelous treasures. All around the nets hang 
jeweled bells of the utmost beauty, which shine brilliantly. When a natural 
breeze of virtue arises and gently blows, it is moderate in temperature, nei- 
ther cold nor hot, and refreshing and soft to the senses; it moves neither too 
slowly nor too quickly. When the breeze wafts over the nets and the various 
jeweled trees, countless excellent sounds of the Dharma are heard, and ten 
thousand kinds of delicate fragrances of virtue are diffused. If one smells 
those fragrances one's impurities and passions spontaneously cease to arise. 



20 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



If touched by the breeze itself, one enjoys the same pleasure as a monk who 
has entered the samadhi of extinction. 

21 "Again, as the breeze blows, flowers are scattered throughout the buddha 
land; they spontaneously divide into different colors, not mixed together. 
They are soft and pleasant to touch, glow brilliantly, and diffuse rich fra- 
grances. When one's foot is placed on them they sink down four inches, but 
when the foot is lifted they rise to their former level. When the flowers have 
served their purpose the earth opens up and they vanish, leaving the ground 
clean and without trace of them. At the right moment, six times a day, the 
breeze wafts, scattering the flowers in this way. Moreover, lotus flowers of 
various jewels fill the land; each has a hundred thousand kotis of petals with 
lights of numerous colors — green lotuses glow with a green light; white ones 
with a white light; and likewise dark blue, yellow, red, and purple lotuses 
glow with lights of their respective colors. The brilliance of these lights is 
so magnificent that it outshines the sun and moon. Each flower emits thirty- 
six hundred thousand kotis of rays of light, each sending forth thirty-six hun- 
dred thousand kotis of buddhas. The bodies of these buddhas are purple- 
gold, and their physical characteristics and marks are superb beyond compare. 
Each buddha emits a hundred thousand rays of light and expounds the won- 
derful Dharma to beings in the ten directions, thus setting innumerable beings 
272b on the right path of the Buddha. 

End of Part One of the Sutra on the Buddha of Infinite Life 
Delivered by Sakyamuni Buddha 



30 



Part Two 



22 The Buddha said to Ananda, "Sentient beings who are born in that buddha 
land all reside among those assured of nirvana. The reason is that in that land 
there are neither beings who are destined to adverse conditions nor those 
whose destinies are uncertain. 

"All buddha tathagatas in the ten directions, as numerous as the sands 
of the Ganges River, together praise the inconceivable, supernal virtue of 
Amitayus. All sentient beings who, having heard his Name, rejoice in faith, 
think of him even once, and sincerely transfer the merit of virtuous practices 
to that land," aspiring to be born there, will attain birth and dwell in the stage 
of non-retrogression. But excluded are those who have committed the five 
grave offenses and abused the Right Dharma." 

23 The Buddha said to Ananda, "Devas and humans in the worlds of the ten 
directions who sincerely aspire to be born in that land can be classified into 
three grades. The higher grade of aspirants are those who leave their homes 
and abandon worldly desires to become monks. Having awakened aspira- 
tion for enlightenment, they singlemindedly think of Amitayus and perform 
meritorious practices, aspiring to be born in his land. When they are about 
to die, Amitayus, together with a host of sages, will appear before them. Then 
they will follow him and attain birth in his land. At once they will be born 
by transformation spontaneously from within seven-jeweled lotus flowers. 
They will dwell in the stage of non-retrogression, attain steadfast wisdom, 
and be capable of freely exercising supernatural powers. For this reason, 
Ananda, sentient beings who wish to see Amitayus while in this world should 
awaken aspiration for highest enlightenment, perform meritorious deeds, and 
aspire to be born in his land." 

24 The Buddha said to Ananda, "The middle grade of aspirants are the devas 
and humans in the worlds of the ten directions who sincerely desire to be born 
in that land. Although unable to become monks and cultivate much merit, 
they awaken aspiration for the highest enlightenment, singlemindedly think 
of Amitayus, perform some good deeds, observe the precepts of abstinence, 



31 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



build stupas, donate Buddhist statues, give alms to mendicants, hang banners, 
light candles, scatter flowers, burn incense, and so forth. They transfer the 
merit of those practices to his land, aspiring to be born there. When they are 
272c about to die, Amitayus will manifest his transformed body, which is fully pos- 
sessed of the same radiance and physical characteristics and marks as those of 
the real Buddha, and make it appear before them, together with a host of sages. 
Then they will follow this transformed buddha and be born in the Pure Land, 
where they will dwell in the stage of non-retrogression. Their virtue and wis- 
dom will be next to those of the higher grade of aspirants." 

25 The Buddha said to Ananda, "The lower grade of aspirants are the devas 
and humans in the worlds of the ten directions who sincerely desire to be 
born in that land. Although unable to do many meritorious deeds, they awaken 
aspiration for highest enlightenment and singlemindedly think of Amitayus 
even ten times, desiring birth in his land. When they hear the profound 
Dharma they joyfully accept it and do not entertain any doubt; and so, think- 
ing of the Buddha even once, they sincerely aspire to be born in that land. 
When they are about to die they will see the Buddha in a dream. Those aspi- 
rants, too, will be born in the Pure Land. Their merit and wisdom will be 
next to those of the middle grade of aspirants." 

26 The Buddha said to Ananda, "The majestic virtue of Amitayus is bound- 
less. All the innumerable, countless, and inconceivable buddha tathagatas in 
the worlds of the ten directions praise him. Innumerable and countless bodhi- 
sattvas in the buddha lands of the eastern direction, as numerous as the sands 
of the Ganges River, all without exception, visit Amitayus in order to worship 
and make offerings to him and to the assembly of bodhisattvas and sravakas. 
Having heard the teaching, they expound it to lead people into the path of the 
Buddha. As in the eastern direction, so it is in the southern, western, and north- 
ern, as well in the four intermediate directions and above and below." 

27 Then the World-honored One spoke the following verses: 

1 . In the eastern direction there are buddha lands 
As numerous as the sands of the Ganges River; 
Bodhisattvas dwelling in those lands 
Go to pay homage to Amitayus, 12 the Enlightened One. 



32 



The Larger Sutra 



2. So it is in the southern, western, and northern directions, 
The intermediate directions, above, and below; 
Bodhisattvas dwelling in those lands 

Go to pay homage to Amitayus, the Enlightened One. 

3. All those bodhisattvas, taking with them 
Exquisite heavenly flowers, 
Precious incense, and priceless robes, 

Make offerings to Amitayus, the Enlightened One. 

4. Playing heavenly music in concert, 
Producing harmonious and delicate sounds, 

They praise the Most Honored One with hymns saying: 

5. "You have perfected supernatural powers and wisdom, 

With which you freely enter the gates of the profound Dharma; 
You also possess stores of merit and virtue 
And unparalleled supreme knowledge. 

6. "Illuminating the world with the sun of wisdom, 
You disperse the clouds of birth and death." 
Having reverently walked round him three times, 
The bodhisattvas pay homage to the Unsurpassed One. 

7. Having seen the glorious Pure Land, 
Wonderfully resplendent, 

They are led to awaken supernal aspiration 13 273a 

And wish their lands to be like his. 

8. Then Amitayus, the Enlightened One, 
Changes his countenance and smiles; 

From his mouth come forth innumerable rays of light, 
Which illuminate the worlds of the ten directions. 

9. These rays of light return, encircle his body 
Three times, and enter the crown of his head. 
All devas and humans are delighted to see this 
And are filled with great joy. 



33 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



10. Avalokitesvara, the Exalted Being, having respectfully arranged 
His clothes and bowed his head, 

Asked the Buddha, "Why are you smiling? 
Reverently I inquire. Please tell me why." 

11. The Buddha's majestic voice was like thunder, 
Producing wonderful sounds in the eight qualities of voice: 
"Because I am about to give predictions to the bodhisattvas. 
I shall now explain to you. Listen carefully! 

12. "I am fully aware of the vows of the bodhisattvas 
Who come from ten directions; 

They seek to glorify their pure lands. 

After receiving my predictions, they will become buddhas. 

13. "While realizing that all dharmas are like a dream, 
An illusion, or an echo, 

They will fulfill their excellent vows 

And surely establish pure lands such as this. 

14. "Knowing that dharmas are like a flash of lightning or a shadow, 
They will pursue the bodhisattva path to its end 

And amass a store of merit. After receiving 
My predictions, they will become buddhas. 

15. "While thoroughly knowing that the nature of all dharmas" 
Is empty and without substance, 

They will singlemindedly seek to produce their pure lands 
And will surely establish lands such as this." 

16. The buddhas tell the bodhisattvas to go and pay homage 
To the Buddha of the Land of Peace and Provision. 
"Listen to his teaching, joyfully receive and practice it, 
And then quickly reach the realm of purity. 

17. "When you go to his glorious Pure Land, 
You will instantly acquire supernatural powers. 
Having, without fail, received predictions from Amitayus, 
You will attain perfect enlightenment. 



34 



The Larger Sutra 



18. "By the power of that buddha's Original Vows, 
All who hear his Name and desire birth 

Will, without exception, be born in his land 

And effortlessly enter the stage of non-retrogression. 

19. "Bodhisattvas, if you make vows 
That your lands will be like this, 

While aspiring to save all beings everywhere, 

Your name will be renowned throughout the ten directions. 

20. "In order to serve millions of tathagatas, 

You can assume various forms and fly to those lands; 

After worshiping them with joyful hearts, 

You will return to the Land of Peace and Provision." 

2 1 . Without a store of good from former lives, 
One cannot hear this sutra; 

But those who have strictly observed the precepts 
Can hear the Right Dharma. 

22. One who has met a World-honored One in the past 273b 
Can accept this teaching. 

Such a person respectfully worships, hears, 

And upholds it, and rejoices so greatly as to dance. 

23. Arrogant, corrupt, and indolent people 
Cannot readily accept this teaching. 

But those who have met buddhas in their former lives 
Rejoice to hear it. 

24. Neither srdvakas nor bodhisattvas are able to know 
The Sage's mind exhaustively; 

They are like those who are born blind 
And yet wish to guide others. 

25. The ocean of the Tathagata's wisdom 
Is deep, vast, and boundless. 

Even sages of the Hinayana cannot fathom it; 
Only the Buddha clearly knows it. 



35 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



26. Let us suppose that all human beings, 
Without exception, have attained enlightenment 
And, with pure wisdom, realized original emptiness. 

Even if they pondered the Buddha's wisdom for myriads oikalpas 

27. And expounded it with the utmost effort all through their lives, 
They would not come to exhaustive knowledge of it. 

The Buddha's wisdom is thus limitless 
And pure to its depths. 

28. To obtain human life is difficult in the extreme; 
To meet a buddha in this world is also difficult; 

It is difficult, too, for a person to attain faith and wisdom. 
Once you have heard the Dharma, strive to reach its heart. 

29. If you have heard the Dharma and do not forget it 
But adore and revere it with great joy, 

You are my good friend. For this reason, 

You should awaken aspiration for enlightenment. 

30. Even if the whole world is on fire, 

Be sure to pass through it to hear the Dharma; 

Then you will surely enter the Buddha's enlightenment 

And everywhere deliver beings from the river of birth and death. 

28 The Buddha said to Ananda, "All the bodhisattvas in the land of Amitayus 
will ultimately attain the stage of becoming a buddha after one more life. 
Excepted are those who have made original vows for the sake of sentient 
beings, resolving to cultivate the merit of realizing their great vows to save 
all sentient beings. Ananda, each sravaka in the buddha land of Amitayus 
emits a light for one fathom around his body. The light of a bodhisattva 
shines a hundred yojanas. There are two bodhisattvas who are the most dig- 
nified; their majestic light reaches everywhere in the universe of a thousand 
million worlds." 

Ananda asked, "What are the names of those two bodhisattvas?" 
The Buddha replied, "One is called Avalokitesvara and the other Maha- 
sthamaprapta. They had both performed bodhisattva practices in this world 
and, at the end of their lives, were born by transformation in that buddha 



36 



The Larger Sutra 



land. Ananda, the sentient beings born there all fully possess the thirty-two 
physical characteristics of a great being as well as perfect wisdom, with 
which they penetrate deeply into the nature of all dharmas and reach their 
subtle essence. Their supernatural powers know no obstruction and their 
physical senses are sharp and clear. The bodhisattvas of lesser capacities 
attain two insights. Those with superior capacities attain innumerable [mer- 273c 
its through the] 15 insight into the non-arising of all dharmas. Those bodhi- 
sattvas will not be subject to rebirth in evil realms before they become 
buddhas. Excepted are those who seek birth in the worlds of other directions 
during the turbulent period of the five defilements, manifesting their forms 
in the likeness of the beings there, as in this world. They can freely exercise 
supernatural powers and always remember their former lives." 

The Buddha said to Ananda, "By the Buddha's power, bodhisattvas of 
that land go to innumerable worlds of the ten directions, in as short a time 
as it takes to eat a meal, in order to pay homage and make offerings to the 
buddhas and World-honored Ones. If those bodhisattvas so wish, countless 
and innumerable offerings, such as flowers, incense, music, silken canopies, 
and banners, spontaneously appear before them as soon as they are imag- 
ined. They are rare and marvelous, unlike anything in this world. They are, 
accordingly, offered to the assemblies of buddhas, bodhisattvas, and sra- 
vakas. The flowers remain in the sky and gather into canopies. Their bril- 
liance is dazzling and their fragrance pervades everywhere. The flower 
canopies range in size from those of four hundred /;' in circumference up to 
those large enough to cover the universe of a thousand million worlds. As 
new flower canopies appear old ones disappear. These bodhisattvas all rejoice 
together, and, while poised in midair, play heavenly music and praise the 
virtues of the buddhas with hymns accompanied by wonderful sounds. They 
listen to the Dharma and attain immeasurable joy. After thus worshiping the 
buddhas, they quickly return home to the Pure Land before their meal." 

29 The Buddha said to Ananda, "When Amitayus preaches the Dharma to 
srdvakas and bodhisattvas, they all assemble in the seven-jeweled lecture hall. 
There he fully expounds the teachings of the Way and proclaims the won- 
derful Dharma. The whole audience rejoices, comprehends, and attains enlight- 
enment. At that time a breeze spontaneously arises in each of the four direc- 
tions and wafts over the jeweled trees, producing sounds of the pentatonic 



37 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



scales and causing innumerable exquisite flowers to fall like rain and scat- 
ter everywhere. Natural ways of glorification such as these are endlessly 
repeated. All the devas bring with them a hundred thousand flowers, pieces 
of aromatic wood, and thousands of musical instruments to use as offerings 
to the Buddha and the assembly of bodhisattvas and sravakas; they scatter 
flowers, diffuse perfumes everywhere, and play various kinds of music. They 
come and go in succession, giving way to each other. At such times their joy 
and happiness are beyond description." 

30 The Buddha said to Ananda, "The bodhisattvas born in that buddha land 
expound the Right Dharma whenever appropriate and, because they are in 
accord with the wisdom of enlightenment, their expositions are infallible 
and free of error. In regard to the myriads of things in that land, they have 
no thought of possession or attachment. Whether going or coming, pro- 
ceeding or remaining, their hearts are unattached, their acts are in accordance 
with their will and are unrestricted, and they have no thought of discrimi- 
nation. In them there is no idea of self or others, no idea of competition or 
dispute. With the heart of great compassion to benefit all living beings and 
with tenderness and self-control, they bear no enmity or grudge against any- 
one. Free of mental hindrances, they are pure in mind and without indolence. 
274a Unbiased, noble-minded, sincere, and tranquil, their hearts can revere, appre- 
ciate, and enjoy the Dharma. 

"Having extinguished all evil passions, they are free of those tenden- 
cies that cause one to fall into evil realms. They have accomplished all the 
duties of a bodhisattva and are fully endowed with immeasurable virtues. 
Having reached deep meditation and gained supernatural powers, transcen- 
dent knowledge, and wisdom, they are established in the seven practices 
leading to enlightenment and are devoted to the Buddha-Dharma. 

"With the physical eye they see clearly, discerning objects without error; 
the sight of their divine eye reaches everywhere without limit; with the 
Dharma eye they observe and know thoroughly the teachings of the Way; 
with the wisdom eye they see truth and attain the other shore; with the buddha 
eye they completely realize the nature of dharmas; and with unhindered wis- 
dom they expound the Dharma to others. 

"Although they observe with the eye of equality that the three worlds 
are empty and nonexistent, they strive to learn the Buddha-Dharma and 



38 



The Larger Sutra 



acquire varied eloquence to rid living beings of affliction caused by the evil 
passions. Since all dharmas have arisen from suchness, the bodhisattvas see 
them as they really are and know skillful means of speech that will develop 
good habits and destroy bad ones in living beings. They dislike secular talk, 
enjoying only right discourse on the Dharma. 

"They cultivate roots of virtue, revere the path of the Buddha, and know 
that all dharmas are completely tranquil and nonexistent. Their samsaric bod- 
ies and evil passions have been extinguished together with their remaining 
karmic tendencies. When they hear the profound Dharma their minds are free 
of doubt and fear. They are always able to cultivate great compassion, which 
is deep and subtle, embracing everything like the sky and bearing all like the 
earth. Having reached the end of the single path they have gone to the other 
shore. Since they have cut the net of doubt wisdom arises in their minds. 
Within the Buddha-Dharma there is nothing that they do not comprehend. 

"Their wisdom is like the ocean, and their samadhi is like the king of 
mountains. The light of their wisdom, being brilliant and pure, outshines the 
sun and moon. They are in complete possession of the pure, undefiled Dharma. 
They are like the Himalayas, because the brilliance of their virtues is reflected 
evenly and clearly. They are like the great earth, because they have no dis- 
criminative thoughts, such as pure or impure, beautiful or ugly. They are like 
pure water, because they wash away afflictions and defilements. They are 
like the king of fire, because they burn the firewood of all evil passions. They 
are like a great wind, because they travel throughout the worlds without hin- 
drance. They are like the sky, because they have no attachments. They are 
like lotuses, because nothing in the world can defile them. They are like a 
great vehicle, because they carry the multitude of beings out of birth and death. 
They are like a heavy cloud, because they cause the great thunder of the 
Dharma to roar and awaken the unenlightened. They are like a great rain, 
because they cause the nectar of the Dharma to fall like rainshowers to nour- 
ish living beings. They are like the [Encircling] Adamantine Mountains, 
because demons and non-Buddhists cannot move them. They are like the king 
of the Brahma Heaven, because they are foremost in the performance of var- 
ious good deeds. They are like the nyagrodha tree, because they afford shel- 
ter to all beings. They are like the udumbara flower, because they rarely appear 
in the world and are difficult to encounter. They are like the gold-winged 



39 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



garuda, because they subdue non-Buddhists. They are like a flock of play- 
ful birds, because they do not store things. They are like the king of bulls, 
because they are invincible. They are like the king of elephants, because they 
conquer adversaries. They are like the king of lions, because they fear noth- 
274b ing. They are like the vast sky, because their great compassion reaches every- 
where without discrimination. 

"They have destroyed envy by not being envious of the superiority of 
others. With singleheartedness they seek the Dharma tirelessly. Always desir- 
ing to expound the doctrine, they never grow weary. Striking Dharma drums 
and hoisting Dharma banners, they cause the sun of wisdom to shine forth 
and dissipate the darkness of ignorance. They perform the six acts of accord 
and respect, and always provide others with the gift of the Dharma. Strong 
willed and diligent, their determination never falters. Thus they become lamps 
for the world and fields of supreme merit; they always become teachers and 
harbor no thought of discrimination, aversion, or attachment. They seek only 
the right path, finding neither joy nor sorrow in other matters. They extract 
thorns of passion and give peace of mind to multitudes of beings. Because of 
their merit and wisdom, 16 there is no one who does not revere them. 

"They have destroyed the hindrance of the three defilements and mas- 
tered the supernatural powers. They also possess the power of good karma 
from their former lives, 17 the power of guiding others, of the will, of vows, 
of employing skillful means, of continuous practice, of doing good, of med- 
itation, of wisdom, and of hearing the Dharma widely. They also possess the 
power of the six paramitas — giving (ddna), morality (sTld), patience (ksdnti), 
effort (yiryd), meditation (dhydna), and wisdom (prajnd) — and the power 
of right mindfulness, concentration, contemplation, the supernatural facul- 
ties, and transcendent knowledge, the power to tame and train living beings 
in the right way, as well as other powers. 

"Fully possessed of all the physical characteristics and marks, virtues, 
and eloquence, they have no equals. They revere and worship innumerable 
buddhas and are, in turn, always praised by them. They have completed the 
bodhisattva's course of pdramitds and practiced the samddhis of emptiness, 
non-form, and non-desire; the samddhi of non-arising, non-perishing, and 
many other samddhis; they have gone far beyond the stages of srdvakas and 
pratyekabuddhas. 



40 



The Larger Sutra 



"Ananda, bodhisattvas of that land have innumerable virtues such as 
these, of which I have given you only an outline. If I were to expound them 
in full detail, a thousand million kalpas would not be long enough to do so." 

31 The Buddha said to Bodhisattva Mai trey a and to devas and humans, "The 
virtue and wisdom of srdvakas and bodhisattvas in the land of Amitayus are 
indescribable. That land is sublime, blissful, serene, and pure. Why do you 
not diligently practice good, reflect on the naturalness of the Way, and real- 
ize that it is above all discrimination and is boundlessly pervasive? You 
should each make a great effort to attain it. Strive to escape from samsara 
and be born in the Land of Peace and Provision. Then, the causes of the five 
evil realms having been destroyed, they will naturally cease to be and so you 
will progress unhindered in your pursuit of the Way. The Pure Land is easy 
to reach but very few actually go there. It rejects no one but naturally and 
unfailingly attracts beings. Why do you not abandon worldly matters and 
strive to enter the Way? If you do, you will obtain an infinitely long life and 
one of limitless bliss. 

"People of the world, being weak in virtue, engage in strife over mat- 
ters that are not urgent. In the midst of abject wickedness and extreme afflic- 
tions they painstakingly toil for their living. Whether noble or corrupt, rich 
or poor, young or old, male or female, all people worry about wealth and 
property. In this there is no difference between rich and poor; both have their 
anxieties. Groaning in dejection and sorrow, they pile up thoughts of anguish 
or, driven by inner urges, they run wildly in all directions and thus have no 274c 
time for peace and rest. 

"For example, if they own fields they are concerned about them. If they 
have houses they worry about them. They are also anxious about their six 
domestic animals, such as cows and horses, about their male and female ser- 
vants, money, wealth, clothes, food, and furnishings. With deepening trou- 
bles they sigh repeatedly, and anxiety increasingly torments and terrifies them. 
Sudden misfortune may befall them: all their possessions may be destroyed 
by fire, swept away by floods, plundered by robbers, or seized by adversaries 
or creditors. Then gnawing grief afflicts them and incessantly troubles their 
hearts. Anger seizes their minds, keeps them in constant agitation, increas- 
ingly tightens its grip, hardens their hearts, and never leaves them. 



41 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



"When their lives end in such agonizing conditions, they must leave 
everyone and everything behind. Even nobles and wealthy people have these 
worries. With much anxiety and fear, they endure such tribulations. Break- 
ing out in cold sweats or fevers, they suffer unremitting pain. 

"The poor and the underprivileged are constantly destitute. If, for exam- 
ple, they have no fields, they are unhappy and want them. If they have no 
houses, they are unhappy and want them. If they have none of the six domes- 
tic animals, such as cows and horses, or if they have no male or female ser- 
vants, or lack money, wealth, clothes, food, or furnishings, they are unhappy 
and want those as well. If they possess some of these things, others may be 
lacking. If they have this, they do not have that, and so they wish to possess 
all. But even if by some chance they come to possess everything, it will soon 
be destroyed or lost. Then, dejected and sorrowful, they may strive to obtain 
such things again but it may be impossible. Brooding over this is to no avail. 
Exhausted in mind and body, they become restless in all their activities and 
anxieties follow on their heels. Such are the troubles they must endure. Break- 
ing out in cold sweats or fevers, they suffer unremitting pain. Such condi- 
tions may result in the sudden end of their lives or an early death. Since they 
have not done any good in particular, nor followed the Way, nor acted vir- 
tuously, when they die they will depart alone to an inferior world. Although 
they are destined to different states of existence, none of them understands 
the law of karma that sends them there. 

"People of the world, parents and children, brothers and sisters, hus- 
bands and wives, and other family members and kinsmen, 18 should respect 
and love each other, refraining from hatred and envy. They should share 
things with others, not be greedy and miserly, always speak friendly words 
with a pleasing smile, and not hurt each other. 

"If one disagrees with others and grows angry, however small one's 
grudge and enmity may be in this life, these will increase in the life to come 
until they grow into a mass of hostility. For if people are engaged in tor- 
menting and harming each other in this life, such conflict may not immedi- 
ately end in mutual destruction. But persistent bitterness and raging fury are 
impressed upon the mind, and thus naturally leave indelible marks on con- 
sciousness, so that those involved will be reborn at about the same time to 
take revenge on each other. 



42 



The Larger Sutra 



"Further, in the midst of worldly desires and attachments one comes 
and goes alone, is born alone, and dies alone. After death, one goes to a 
painful or pleasant state of existence. Each receives his karmic consequences, 
and no one else can take his place. In accordance with different acts of good 
and evil, people are destined to realms of bliss or suffering. Unalterably 
bound by their karma, they depart for those realms all alone. Having reached 
the other world, they cannot see each other. The law of good and evil natu- 
rally pursues them, and wherever they may be reborn distance and darkness 
always separate them. Since their paths of karma are different, it is impos- 
sible to tell the time of their reunion and it is difficult to meet again. Can 
they ever see each other once more? 

"Why do they not abandon all worldly involvements and strive, while 275a 
they are strong and healthy, to pursue good and diligently seek deliverance 
from samsara? If they do they will be able to attain infinite life. Why do they 
not seek the Way? What is there in this world that should be longed for? 
What pleasure is there that ought to be sought after? 

"Thus people of the world do not believe in pursuing good and receiv- 
ing its reward or in practicing the Way and attaining enlightenment; neither 
do they believe in transmigration and retribution for evil acts or reward for 
good ones, such as obtaining merit by helping others. Believing that these 
do not exist, they totally reject such a view. 

"Further, by so doing, they cling to their own views more tenaciously. 
Later generations learn from previous ones to act likewise. Fathers, perpet- 
uating their wrong views, pass them on to their children. Since parents and 
grandparents from the beginning did not do good deeds, were ignorant of 
the Way, committed foolish acts, and were benighted, insensitive, and cal- 
lous, their descendants are now unable to realize the truth of birth and death 
and the law of karma. There is no one to tell them about this. Nobody seeks 
to know the cause of fortune and misfortune, happiness and misery, although 
these states result from such acts. 

"The reality of birth and death is such that the sorrow of parting is mutu- 
ally felt by all generations. A father cries over the deaths of his children; 
children cry over the death of their father. Brothers, sisters, husbands, and 
wives mourn each other's deaths. According to the basic law of imperma- 
nence, whether death will occur in order of seniority or in the reverse order 



43 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



is unpredictable. All things must pass. Nothing stays forever. Few believe 
this, even if someone teaches and exhorts them. And so the stream of birth 
and death continues everlastingly. 

"Because they are stupid and callous, such people do not accept the 
teachings of the Buddha; they lack forethought and only wish to satisfy their 
own desires. They are deluded by their passionate attachments, unaware of 
the Way, misguided and trapped by anger and enmity, and intent on gain- 
ing wealth and gratifying their carnal desires like wolves. And so, unable to 
follow the Way, they are again subject to suffering in evil realms in an end- 
less cycle of birth and death. How miserable and pitiable this is! 

"In the same family, when one of the parents, children, brothers, sisters, 
or the husband or wife dies, those surviving mourn over the loss and their 
attachment to the deceased persists. Deep sorrow fills their hearts and, grief- 
stricken, they mournfully think of the departed. Days pass and years go by, 
but their distress goes on. Even if someone teaches them the Way, their minds 
are not awakened. Brooding over fond memories of the dead, they cannot 
rid themselves of attachment. Being ignorant, inert, and illusion-bound, they 
are unable to think deeply, keep their self-composure, practice the Way with 
diligence, or dissociate themselves from worldly matters. As they wander 
here and there they come to their end and die before entering on the Way. 
Then what can be done for them? 

"Because they are spiritually defiled, deeply troubled, and confused, peo- 
ple indulge their passions. Hence, many are ignorant of the Way and few real- 
ize it. Everyone is restlessly busy, having nothing on which to rely. Whether 
moral or corrupt, of high or low rank, rich or poor, noble or base, all are pre- 
occupied with their own work. They entertain venomous thoughts, creating 
a widespread and dismal atmosphere of malevolence. Subversive activities 
are planned, contrary to the universal law and the wishes of the people. 

"Injustice and vice inevitably follow and are allowed to run their course 
unchecked until evil karma accumulates to the limit. Before they expect their 
lives to end people meet sudden death and fall into evil realms, where they 
will suffer excruciating torments for many lives. They will not be able to 
275b escape for many thousands of kotis of kalpas. How indescribably painful! 
How pitiable this is!" 



44 



The Larger Sutra 



32 The Buddha said to Bodhisattva Maitreya and to devas and humans, "I 
have told you the truth about people of the world. Such being their mode of 
life, they are unable to enter the Way. Therefore, you should think deeply 
and try to avoid various evil acts; choose the good and diligently practice it. 
A life of addiction to desires or a life of pomp and vainglory cannot last long. 
All must pass; there is nothing you can really enjoy. Since you have encoun- 
tered a buddha in this world you should assiduously practice the Way. Any- 
one who sincerely desires birth in the Land of Peace and Bliss is able to attain 
purity of wisdom and supremacy in virtue. You should not follow the urges 
of the passions, break the precepts, or fall behind others in the practice of 
the Way. If you have doubts and are not clear about my teaching, ask me, 
the Buddha, about anything and I shall explain it to you." 

Bodhisattva Maitreya prostrated himself on the ground and said, "Your 
majestic glory, O Buddha, is awe-inspiring, and your exposition is most 
pleasing to me. Having heard your teaching I feel deeply that people of the 
world are just as you have described. Your compassionate revelation of the 
Great Way has opened our eyes and ears, awakening us to liberation. Those 
who have heard your teachings are all filled with joy. Devas, humans, and 
lesser beings, including even those that crawl, have all been blessed by your 
compassionate guidance and have thereby attained deliverance from suffer- 
ing and affliction. 

"The Buddha's admonition is indeed profound and appropriate, and his 
wisdom clearly surveys things in the eight directions, above and below, pen- 
etrating all in the past, present, and future. Our liberation in the present life 
is entirely due to the Buddha's perseverance and painstaking efforts in his 
former lives when he was seeking the Way. His benevolence covers the 
whole world and the extent of his merit is majestic and glorious. His light 
penetrates to the utmost ends of space and guides people to nirvana. He 
reveals the sutras, destroys wrong views, and subdues demons. Thus his 
influence extends boundlessly in the ten directions. The Buddha is the King 
of the Dharma; his virtue surpasses that of all the sages. He is the teacher of 
all devas and humans and enables them to enter the Way according to their 
wishes. Having been able to meet you, O Buddha, and also to hear the Name 
of Amitayus, 19 we have all attained joy and illumination." 



45 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



33 The Buddha said to Maitreya, "What you say is true. Those who adore 
and revere a buddha attain great merit. Buddhas very rarely appear in the 
world. Having become a buddha in this life, I have taught the Dharma, 
expounded teachings of the Way, cleared people's doubts, eradicated the 
causes of lust and desire, and blocked the source of all evils. Visiting vari- 
ous places in the three worlds, I encounter no obstructions. The wisdom dis- 
closed in the scriptures provides for all ways of life. It keeps essential prin- 
ciples together and clearly reveals the truth. I have explained the reality of 
the five realms, thereby freeing those who have not yet attained deliverance 
and distinguishing between the paths of samsara and nirvana. 

"Maitreya, you should know that you have, for innumerable kalpas, 
been perfecting the bodhisattva practices to save sentient beings. Incalcula- 
ble indeed is the number of beings who under your guidance have attained 
275c the Way and reached nirvana. From time immemorial, you and all the devas 
and humans in the ten directions and the four groups of followers have been 
floundering in the five realms of samsara, undergoing indescribable troubles 
and afflictions. Until you were born in this life, you, too, underwent endless 
cycles of birth and death. Now you have encountered a buddha, listened to 
his expositions of the Dharma, and been able to learn about Amitayus. What 
pleasure and joy this is for you and me to share! I share the joy with you. 

"It is time for all to seek deliverance from the pains of birth, sickness, 
old age, and death. Outflows of depravity and defilement are everywhere, 
and there is nothing in which you can find true joy. You should resolutely 
do worthy deeds with propriety, strive to do more good, control and purify 
yourselves, wash away the mental defilements, be sincere in word and deed, 
and allow no contradiction between what you think and what you do. Seek 
your own liberation and then turn to saving others; straightforwardly aspire 
to be born in the Pure Land and accumulate roots of virtue. However hard 
you may practice in this life, it can only be for a short while. In the life to 
come you will be born in the land of Amitayus and enjoy endless bliss there. 
Being forever in accord with the Way, you will no longer be subject to birth 
and death and be free of the afflictions caused by greed, anger, and ignorance. 
If you wish your life to be as long as a kalpa, a hundred kalpas, or ten mil- 
lion kotis of kalpas, it will be just as you please. You will dwell in effortless 
spontaneity and attain nirvana. You should each diligently seek to realize 



46 



The Larger Sutra 



your aspiration. Do not entertain any doubt or give up your endeavors, lest 
as a result of that fault you should be born into the seven-jeweled palace in 
the border region of the Pure Land and be subject to various disadvantages 
for five hundred years." 

Maitreya said to the Buddha, "Having received your considerate admo- 
nition, we will diligently practice the Way and follow your teaching. We 
will not allow any doubt to arise." 

34 The Buddha said to Maitreya, "If here in this world you are upright in 
thought and will, and abstain from doing evil, then you will attain the utmost 
virtue, unsurpassed in all the lands throughout the ten directions. Why is this 
so? Devas and humans in the buddha lands naturally do good and rarely com- 
mit evil, and so it is easy to teach and train them. Having become a buddha 
in this world, I now dwell in the midst of the five evils, the five sufferings, 
and the five burnings. This is extremely painful for me. I will teach multi- 
tudes of beings, making them abandon the five evils, avoid the five suffer- 
ings, and escape from the five burnings. I will train their minds and lead 
them to practice the five good deeds, so that they may acquire merit and 
virtue and attain liberation, long life, and nirvana." 

The Buddha continued. "What are the five evils? What are the five suf- 
ferings? What are the five burnings? What is the way to extinguish the five 
evils and lead people to practice the five good deeds, so that they may acquire 
merit and virtue and attain liberation, long life, and nirvana?" 

35 The Buddha said, "The first evil is this. Devas, humans, and lesser beings, 
including even those that crawl, are bent on doing evil. There is no being 
that is not. The strong subdue the weak; all inflict serious injuries [upon] and 
kill each other; all devour their prey. Not knowing how to do good, they 
commit evil and commit outrageous and unruly deeds. Later, they receive 276a 
retribution; it is natural that they should be destined to evil realms. Demigods 

keep records of offenders' acts and make sure that they are punished. That 
is why some are poor and destitute, corrupt, beggarly, lonely, deaf, dumb, 
blind, stupid, wicked, physically handicapped, deranged, or subnormal. But 
others are honorable, noble, wealthy, intelligent, or clever. This is the result 
of good and meritorious acts of benevolence and the performance of their 
duties to their parents in former lives. 



47 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



"In this world prisons are set up by the law, and those who are unafraid 
of them and commit offenses are sent there for punishment. However des- 
perately they may wish to escape, it is impossible to do so. Such is retribu- 
tion in this world, but in lives to come, punishment is longer and more severe 
for such evildoers. The suffering of transmigration through dark and dismal 
realms is comparable to the severest and most painful punishment ever 
enforced by law. 

"Thus, through the natural working of karma, they undergo immeasur- 
able sufferings in the three evil realms. In successive transmigrations they 
are reborn into different states and forms; their lifespans are sometimes long 
and sometimes short. Their transient selves, vital energy, and conscious- 
ness 20 transmigrate through the natural working of karma. Although each 
individual is reborn alone, those bound by common karma come to be born 
together and take revenge upon each other. So this condition persists end- 
lessly, and until the effect of their evil karma is exhausted there is no possi- 
bility of avoiding their enemies. Floundering in samsara, they have no chance 
of escape or of attaining liberation. The pain that they must undergo is inde- 
scribable. Since this law naturally obtains everywhere between heaven and 
earth, even if good or evil acts do not immediately bring about reward or ret- 
ribution they will certainly result in them sooner or later. This I call the first 
great evil, the first suffering, and the first burning. Those afflictions are such 
that they are comparable to a huge fire burning people alive. 

"If, in the midst of this, one controls one's thoughts with singlemind- 
edness, does worthy deeds with proper demeanor, commits no evil, and per- 
forms only good, then with the merit and virtue acquired one reaches liber- 
ation and is able to escape from this world, be reborn in heavenly realms, 
and finally reach nirvana. This is the first great good." 

36 The Buddha continued, "The second evil is that people of this world — 
parents, children, brothers and sisters, family members, husbands and wives — 
all lack moral principles, break laws, conduct themselves arrogantly, com- 
mit licentious and unruly acts, pursue their own pleasures, enjoy themselves 
as they will, and deceive each other. What they think contradicts what they 
say; they speak without sincerity, flatter others with deceitful intention, fawn 
upon others with artful words, envy the reputation of sages, abuse the vir- 
tuous, and entrap people by dishonest means. 



48 



The Larger Sutra 



"Masters are unwise in appointing retainers, who, exploiting the situa- 
tion, seek every opportunity for trickery and deceit. Rulers, being unright- 
eous, are deceived by ministers and foolishly remove loyal and faithful sub- 
jects. This is contrary to the will of heaven. Ministers betray their rulers; 
children deceive their parents; brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, kinsmen, 
and friends deceive each other. They harbor greed, anger, and ignorance and, 
desiring many possessions, seek their own advantage. All people are the 
same at heart, whether they are people of high and honorable positions or of 
lower and despised classes. They bring their homes and themselves to ruin 
and recklessly destroy their kindred. Although there are family members, 
friends, villagers, townspeople, ignorant and vulgar groups working together, 276b 
all seek to gain their own profit, thereby incurring the anger and enmity of 
others. When people grow rich, they become miserly and uncharitable. Greed- 
ily attached to their wealth, 2 ' they toil with mind and body to retain it. When 
their end comes, they find nothing on which to rely. Ultimately they are born 
and depart alone, with nobody to accompany them. Bliss or misery result- 
ing from good or evil acts follow them in their future lives. Thus they are 
reborn in pleasant or painful states. Even if they later feel regret, what good 
will that do? 

"People of the world, being dark-hearted and lacking insight, hate and 
abuse good people and show them no respect. They are attached to wrong- 
doing and willfully commit unlawful acts. They always covet the wealth of 
others and harbor intentions of stealing. After spending and squandering 
what they have robbed from others, they seek to regain it. Because of their 
own hidden motives and dishonesty, they slyly study the reactions shown 
on the faces of others. Since they are unable to think far ahead, when things 
go wrong they become despondent with chagrin. 

"In this world there are prisons established by law where offenders are 
sent to receive punishment according to their offenses. In their previous lives 
they neither believed in the Way nor cultivated roots of virtue. In this life, 
too, if they commit evil, demigods know and keep records of their acts; so 
when they die, they fall into evil realms. Thus, because of the natural work- 
ing of karma, there are the three evil realms and innumerable sufferings 
through which evildoers must pass, life after life, for many kalpas, with no 
end in sight. It is indeed difficult for them to attain release. The pain they 



49 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



must undergo is indescribable. This is called the second great evil, the sec- 
ond suffering, and the second burning. The afflictions are such that they are 
comparable to a huge fire burning people alive. 

"If, in the midst of this, one controls one's thoughts with singlemind- 
edness, does worthy deeds with proper demeanor, commits no evil, and per- 
forms only good, then with the merit and virtue acquired one reaches liber- 
ation and is able to escape from this world, be reborn in heavenly realms, 
and finally reach nirvana. This is the second great good." 

37 The Buddha continued, "The third evil is this. People of the world live 
together, inhabiting this realm between heaven and earth, with a limited life- 
span. On the one hand, among the higher levels there are wise, rich, honor- 
able, noble, and wealthy people. On the other hand, among the lower levels 
there are people who are poor, debased, crude, and foolish. Besides, there 
are evildoers who always harbor vicious thoughts and think only of self-grat- 
ification; they are full of worries and sunk in lust and attachment; they are 
restless in their daily lives, greedy and miserly, and desirous of what they 
have no right to possess. They gloat over fair-skinned women, behave licen- 
tiously and commit obscene acts with them, hate their own wives, and secretly 
frequent brothels. Consequently, after squandering all their resources they 
begin to break the law. They form bands, start riots, engage in fighting, 
unlawfully attack and kill people, and plunder property. 

"Some have evil designs on the possessions of others. Without work- 
ing at their own occupations, they acquire things through theft. Driven by 
desire, they commit further offenses. Feverishly agitated, they intimidate 
and rob people to support their own wives and children with the goods thus 
acquired. Obeying only the dictates of their passions, they become addicted 
to wanton pleasures. They also disregard seniority in kinship, causing sor- 
row and anguish to other family members and relatives; furthermore, they 
take no account of the laws of the state. 

"But such evils are known to others and also to demons. The sun and 

276c moon recognize them, and demigods keep records of their doings. Thus, 

because of the natural workings of karma, there are three evil realms and 

innumerable sufferings through which evildoers must pass, life after life, for 

many kalpas, with no end in sight. It is indeed difficult for them to gain 



50 



The Larger Sutra 



release. The pain they must undergo is indescribable. This is called the third 
great evil, the third suffering, and the third burning. The afflictions are such 
that they are comparable to a huge fire burning people alive. 

"If, in the midst of this, one controls one's thoughts with singlemind- 
edness, does worthy deeds with proper demeanor, commits no evil, and per- 
forms only good, then with the merit and virtue acquired one reaches liber- 
ation and is able to escape from this world, be reborn in heavenly realms, 
and finally reach nirvana. This is the third great good." 

38 The Buddha continued, "The fourth evil is this. People of the world do not 
think of doing good. They incite each other to commit various kinds of evil — 
uttering harsh and abusive words, telling lies, and engaging in idle talk. They 
slander others and cause contention. They hate and envy good people and ruin 
the wise, while they rejoice in watching this behind the scenes. They are neg- 
lectful of their parents, make light of their teachers and elders, fail to win the 
trust of their friends, and lack sincerity. Holding themselves in high esteem, 
they think that they are virtuous but act waywardly in an overbearing manner 
and despise others. Unaware of their own evil, they never feel ashamed of 
themselves. Boastful of their physical strength, they demand respect and fear 
from others. Taking no heed of heaven, earth, demigods, or the sun and moon, 
they disdain to do any good. So they are difficult to train and convert. Hold- 
ing themselves in high esteem, they demand their own way. Arrogant and 
afraid of nothing, they always assume a haughty attitude. But demigods keep 
records of their evils. Perhaps there was some meritorious act in their former 
lives, and they can count on the effect of that small amount of good. But, since 
they commit evil again in this life, their store of merit is soon exhausted; good 
divinities forsake them, leaving them alone with no one on whom to depend. 
When their lives end, all their evil recoils upon them and forces them, through 
the natural working of karma, to descend to the evil realms. Again, as the exact 
records of their deeds in the hands of the demigods dictate, their karmic trans- 
gressions and offenses condemn them to hellish realms. Retribution for evil 
comes about naturally and nothing can stop it. They must go into the red-hot 
cauldrons, where their bodies are melted down with the utmost torment and 
anguish. Even if at that time they repent of their evil deeds, what good will 
that do? The way of heaven takes its inevitable course without mistake. 



51 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



"Thus, because of the natural working of karma, there are the three evil 
realms and innumerable kinds of suffering through which evildoers must pass, 
life after life, for many kalpas, with no end in sight. It is indeed difficult for 
them to gain release, and the pain they must undergo is indescribable. This is 
called the fourth great evil, the fourth suffering, and the fourth burning. The 
afflictions are such that they are comparable to a huge fire burning people alive. 

"If, in the midst of this, one controls one's thoughts with singlemind- 
edness, does worthy deeds with proper demeanor, commits no evil, and per- 
forms only good, then with the merit and virtue acquired one reaches liber- 
ation and is able to escape from this world, be reborn in heavenly realms, 
and finally reach nirvana. This is the fourth great good." 

39 The Buddha continued, "The fifth evil is this. People of the world are 
277a indecisive and slothful, reluctant to do good, lacking in self-discipline, and 
they do not work hard at their occupations; so their families and dependents 
are left to suffer from hunger and cold. When reproached by their parents, 
they retort angrily with scornful looks. In such conflicts they are far from 
peaceful; they can be as violent and frenzied as when enemies confront each 
other; as a result, parents wish that they had no children. 

"In dealing with others, they are licentious and wayward, causing trou- 
ble and annoyance to many. Even when they are morally obliged to others, 
they neglect their duties and have no intention of repaying their indebted- 
ness. Destitute and driven to the most desperate ends, they have no way of 
regaining their wealth. Although eager to obtain much profit and appropri- 
ate the riches of others, they waste their money on wanton pleasures. As this 
becomes a habit, they grow accustomed to acquiring property illegally and 
to spending their ill-gained profits on personal luxuries; indulging in wine 
and sumptuous food, they eat and drink to excess. Profligate and contentious 
as they are, they engage in foolish quarrels. Unable to understand others, 
they forcibly impose their will upon them. 

"When they come upon people who are good, they hate and abuse them. 
Lacking morality and decorum, they do not reflect on their conduct, and so 
are presumptuous and insistent, refusing to take the advice and admonitions 
of others. They are unconcerned if their kinsmen, from the closest to the 
sixth blood relative, have no means of livelihood. They disregard their par- 
ents' benevolence and do not fulfill obligations to their teachers and friends. 



52 



The Larger Sutra 



They think only of doing evil; their mouths continuously speak malice; and 
with their bodies, they are forever committing evil. In their whole lives they 
do not do even one good deed. 

"Furthermore, they do not believe in the ancient sages, nor the Buddhist 
teachings, nor the path of practice leading to liberation. Neither do they 
believe that after death one is reborn into another state of existence, that good 
deeds bring about good rewards, or that evil acts bring about evil conse- 
quences. They plot to murder an arhat or to cause disruption in the sangha; 
they even think of killing their parents, brothers, sisters, or other relatives. 
For this reason, even their kinsmen, from the closest to the sixth blood rel- 
ative, hate them so much as to wish them dead. 

"Such people of the world are all of the same mind. They are foolish 
and ignorant, lacking the wisdom to know whence they have come into life 
or whither they are going after death. Neither humane toward others nor obe- 
dient to their elders, they rebel against the whole world. Nevertheless, they 
expect good fortune and seek long lives, only to meet death in the end. Even 
if someone compassionately admonishes them, trying to lead them to thoughts 
of good, and teaches them that there are naturally good and evil realms of 
samsara, they will not believe him. However hard one may try to persuade 
them, it is useless. Their minds are closed, and they refuse to listen to oth- 
ers or understand their teachings. When their lives are about to end, fear and 
revulsion arise in turn. Not having previously done any good, they are filled 
with remorse when they come to their end. But what good will that do then? 

"Between heaven and earth, the five realms are clearly distinguishable. 
They are vast and deep, extending boundlessly. In return for good or evil 
deeds, happiness or misery ensues. The result of one's karma must be borne 
by oneself alone, and no one else can take one's place. This is natural law. 
Misfortune follows evil deeds as their retribution, which is impossible to 
avoid. Good people do good deeds, and so enjoy pleasure after pleasure and 
proceed from light to greater light. Evildoers commit crimes, and so suffer 
pain after pain and wander from darkness to deeper darkness. No one, except 
the Buddha, knows this completely. Even though someone admonishes and 
teaches them, very few believe; and so the cycles of birth and death never 
cease and the evil paths continue endlessly. The karmic consequences for 277b 
such worldly people cannot be described in detail. 



53 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



"Thus, because of the natural working of karma, there are innumerable 
kinds of suffering in the three evil realms through which wicked beings must 
pass, life after life, for many kalpas, with no end in sight. It is indeed diffi- 
cult for them to gain release, and the pain they must undergo is indescrib- 
able. This is called the fifth great evil, the fifth suffering, and the fifth burn- 
ing. The afflictions are such that they are comparable to a huge fire burning 
people alive. 

"If, in the midst of this, one controls one's thoughts with singleminded- 
ness, does worthy deeds with proper demeanor, mindfully recollects, harmo- 
nizes words and deeds, acts with sincerity, utters true words, speaks from the 
heart, commits no evil, and performs only good, then with the merit and virtue 
acquired one reaches liberation and is able to escape from this world, be reborn 
in heavenly realms, and finally reach nirvana. This is the fifth great good." 

40 The Buddha said to Maitreya, "I shall explain further. Such are the afflic- 
tions of the five evils in this world. The five sufferings and the five burn- 
ings continue to arise from them. People commit nothing but evil and fail to 
cultivate roots of virtue, and so it is natural that they all go to evil realms. 
Even in this life they suffer from incurable illnesses. Longing for death, they 
cannot die; craving for life, they cannot live. Thus they are an example to 
others of what the retribution for evil acts is like. After death, driven by their 
karma, they fall into the three evil realms, where they suffer countless tor- 
tures and are themselves consigned to the flames. 

"After a long time they are reborn again in this world, only to foment 
hatred against each other. At first hatred is slight but finally develops into a 
major evil. All this is because of their greedy attachment to wealth and sen- 
suous pleasures and of their refusal to share with others. Further, wayward 
thoughts arise from the desires born of stupidity. Their bondage to evil pas- 
sions will never be severed. In the pursuit of selfish gain, there is no chance 
for them to reflect on their evils and turn to good. When wealthy and pros- 
perous, they are happy and do not learn to be modest and virtuous. Conse- 
quently, their pomp and power are short-lived; when these are exhausted, 
they must undergo further afflictions. Their sufferings are bound to increase 
in time to come. 

"The law of karma operates like a net stretched everywhere; in its meshes 
it inevitably catches all offenders. The net woven of large and small ropes 



54 



The Larger Sutra 



covers the whole world, from top to bottom, and those caught in it feel utterly 
helpless and tremble in fear. This net has been in existence from of old. How 
painful and heart-rending!" 

The Buddha said to Maitreya, "People of this world are as I have 
described. All the buddhas pity them and with divine powers destroy their 
evils and lead them all to good. If you give up wrong views, hold fast to the 
scriptures and the precepts, and practice the Way without committing any 
fault, then you will finally be able to attain the path to liberation and nirvana." 

The Buddha continued, "You and other devas and people of the present 
and future generations, having received the Buddha's teachings, should reflect 
upon them and, while following them, should remain upright in thought and 
do virtuous deeds. Rulers should abide by morality, reign with beneficence, 
and decree that everyone should maintain proper conduct, revere the sages, 
respect people of virtue, be benevolent and kind to others, and take care not 
to disregard the Buddha's teachings and admonitions. All should seek liber- 
ation, cut the roots of samsara and its various evils, and so aspire to escape 
from the paths of immeasurable sorrow, fear, and pain in the three evil realms. 277c 

"In this world, you should extensively plant roots of virtue, be benevo- 
lent, give generously, abstain from breaking the precepts, be patient and dili- 
gent, teach people with sincerity and wisdom, do virtuous deeds, and prac- 
tice good. If you strictly observe the precepts of abstinence with upright 
thought and mindfulness even for a day and a night, the merit acquired will 
surpass that of practicing good in the land of Amitayus for a hundred years. 
The reason is that in that buddha land of effortless spontaneity all the inhab- 
itants do good without committing even a hair's breadth of evil. If in this 
world you do good for ten days and nights, the merit acquired will surpass 
that of practicing good in the buddha lands of other directions for a thou- 
sand years. The reason is that in the buddha lands of other directions many 
practice good and very few commit evil. These are lands where everything 
is naturally provided as a result of one's merit and virtue, and so no evil is 
done. But in this world much evil is committed and few are provided for nat- 
urally; people must work hard to get what they want. Since they intend to 
deceive each other, their minds are troubled, their bodies are exhausted, and 
they drink bitterness and eat hardship. In this way, they are too much pre- 
occupied with their toil to have time for rest. 



55 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



"Out of pity for you and other devas and humans, I have taken great 
pains in exhorting you to do good deeds. I have given you instructions appro- 
priate to your capacities. You have, without fail, accepted my teachings and 
practiced them, and so have all entered on the Way as you wished. 

"Wherever the Buddha comes to stay, there is no state, town, or village 
that is not blessed by his virtues. The whole country reposes in peace and 
harmony. The sun and moon shine with pure brilliance; wind arises and rain 
falls at the right time. There is no calamity or epidemic, and so the country 
becomes wealthy and its people enjoy peace. Soldiers and weapons become 
useless; and people esteem virtue, practice benevolence, and diligently cul- 
tivate courteous modesty." 

The Buddha continued, "My concern for you, devas and humans, is 
greater than the care of parents for their children. I have become a buddha 
in this world, destroyed the five evils, removed the five sufferings, and extin- 
guished the five burnings. I have countered evil with good, eradicated the 
suffering of birth and death, and enabled people to acquire the five virtues 
and attain the peace of unconditioned nirvana. But after I have departed from 
this world, my teaching will gradually decline and people will fall prey to 
flattery and deceit and commit various evils again, resulting in the recur- 
rence of the five sufferings and the five burnings. As time goes on, their suf- 
ferings will intensify. As it is impossible to describe this in detail, I have 
given you only a brief outline." 

The Buddha said to Maitreya, "You should each ponder on this well, 
teach and admonish each other, and be on guard against disobeying the 
Buddha's instruction." 

Bodhisattva Maitreya, with his palms together, said, "O Buddha, how 
appropriate your admonition is! People of the world are just as you have 
described. O Tathagata, you take pity on and care for us without discrimi- 
nation and seek to deliver us all from suffering. Having accepted the Buddha's 
repeated exhortations, I will be careful not to disobey them." 

41 The Buddha said to Ananda, "Rise to your feet, rearrange your robes, put 
your palms together, and respectfully revere and worship Amitayus. Buddha 
tathagatas in the lands of the ten directions always praise with one accord 
that buddha's virtue of nonattachment and unimpeded activity." 



56 



The Larger Sutra 



Ananda stood up, rearranged his robes, assumed the correct posture, 
faced westward, and, demonstrating his sincere reverence, joined his palms 
together, prostrated himself on the ground, and worshiped Amitayus. 

Then he said to Sakyamuni Buddha, "World-honored One, I wish to see 278a 
that buddha, his Land of Peace and Bliss, and its hosts of bodhisattvas and 
sravakas." 

As soon as he had said this, Amitayus emitted a great light, which illu- 
minated all the buddha lands. The Encircling Adamantine Mountains, Mount 
Sumeru, together with large and small mountains and everything else shone 
with the same [golden] color. That light was like the flood at the end of the 
period of cosmic change that fills the whole world, when myriads of things 
are submerged, and as far as the eye can see there is nothing but the vast 
expanse of water. Even so was the flood of light emanating from Amitayus. 
All the lights of sravakas and bodhisattvas were outshone and surpassed, 
and only the Buddha's light remained shining bright and glorious. 

At that time Ananda saw the splendor and majesty of Amitayus resem- 
bling Mount Sumeru, which rises above the whole world. There was no place 
that was not illuminated by the light emanating from his body of glory. The 
four groups of followers of the Buddha in the assembly saw all this at the 
same time. Likewise, those of the Pure Land saw everything in this world. 

42 Then the Buddha said to Ananda and Bodhisattva Maitreya, "Have you 
seen that land filled with excellent and glorious manifestations, all sponta- 
neously produced, from the ground to the Heaven of Pure Abode?" 

Ananda replied, "Yes, I have." 

The Buddha asked, "Have you also heard the great voice of Amitayus 
expound the Dharma to all the worlds, guiding sentient beings to the Way 
of the Buddha?" 

Ananda replied, "Yes, I have." 

The Buddha further asked, "Have you also seen the inhabitants of that land 
move freely, riding in seven-jeweled airborne palaces as large as a hundred 
thousand yojanas, to worship the buddhas of the lands in the ten directions?" 

"Yes, I have," replied Ananda. 

"Have you also seen that some of the inhabitants are in the embryonic 
state of rebirth?" 



57 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



"Yes, I have. Those in the embryonic state dwell in palaces as high as 
a hundred yojanas or five hundred yojanas, where they spontaneously enjoy 
pleasures as do those in the Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods." 

43 Then Bodhisattva Maitreya said to the Buddha, "World-honored One, for 
what reason are some of the inhabitants of that land in the embryonic state 
and the others born by transformation?" 

The Buddha replied, "Maitreya, if there are sentient beings who do var- 
ious meritorious deeds, aspiring for birth in that land while still entertaining 
doubt, such beings are unable to comprehend the buddha wisdom, incon- 
ceivable wisdom, ineffable wisdom, boundless Mahayana wisdom, and 
incomparable, unequaled, and unsurpassed supreme wisdom. Although they 
doubt these wisdoms, they still believe in retribution for evil and reward for 
virtue and so cultivate a store of merit, aspiring for birth in that land. Such 
beings are born in a palace, where they dwell for five hundred years with- 
out being able to behold the Buddha, hear his exposition of the Dharma, or 
see the hosts of bodhisattvas and srdvakas. For this reason, that type of birth 
in the Pure Land is called the 'embryonic state.' 

"If there are sentient beings who with resolute faith accept these kinds 
of wisdom, from the Buddha's wisdom to the supreme wisdom, do merito- 
rious deeds, and sincerely transfer the merit acquired [to that land], those 
278b beings will be spontaneously born by transformation, seated with legs crossed, 
in the seven-jeweled lotus flowers, and instantly attain the same glorious 
forms, wisdom, and virtue as those of the bodhisattvas there. 

44 "Further, Maitreya, if great bodhisattvas in the buddha lands 22 of other 
directions desire to see Amitayus, and revere and make offerings to him and 
the hosts of bodhisattvas and srdvakas, they will, after death, be born in the 
land of Amitayus. Spontaneously transformed, they will be born from within 
the seven-jeweled lotus flowers. 

"Maitreya, you should know that those born by transformation are pos- 
sessed of supreme wisdom, while those in the embryonic state lack that wis- 
dom and must pass five hundred years without being able to behold the Buddha, 
hear his teaching of the Dharma, see the hosts of bodhisattvas and srdvakas, 
make offerings to the Buddha, learn the rules of conduct for bodhisattvas, or 



58 



The Larger Sutra 



perform meritorious practices. You should know that this is because those 
beings harbored doubt and lacked wisdom in their previous lives." 

45 The Buddha said to Maitreya, "Let us suppose that a wheel-turning 
monarch has a special chamber that is adorned with the seven kinds of jew- 
els and provided with curtained couches and silken banners hanging from 
the ceiling. If princes have committed an offense against the king, they are 
taken to that chamber and fettered with gold chains. There they are served 
with food and drink and provided with clothes, couches and cushions, flow- 
ers and incense; and they can enjoy music. Being treated just like the wheel- 
turning monarch himself, they have no wants. Do you think that those princes 
would enjoy living there?" 

"No, they would not," replied Maitreya. "They would seek various means 
of approach to ask a person of power to help them escape." 

The Buddha said to Maitreya, "Those beings born within the lotus buds 
are like that. Because of their doubt of the Buddha's wisdom they have been 
born in palaces. Although they receive no punishment or ill treatment even 
for a single moment, they must pass five hundred years there without being 
able to see the Three Treasures, make offerings to the Buddha, or cultivate 
a store of virtue. This is distressing to them. Though there are other pleas- 
ures, they do not enjoy living there. 

"If those beings become aware of the faults committed in their former 
lives and deeply repent, they can, as they wish, leave and go to where 
Amitayus dwells. Then they can worship and make offerings to him; they 
can also visit innumerable and countless other tathagatas to perform various 
meritorious practices. Maitreya, you should know that the bodhisattvas who 
allow doubt to arise lose great benefits. For this reason, you should have res- 
olute faith in the supreme wisdom of the Buddha." 

46 Bodhisattva Maitreya said to the Buddha, "World-honored One, how 
many non-retrogressive bodhisattvas are there in this world who will be born 
in that buddha land?" 

The Buddha replied, "Sixty-seven kotis of non-retrogressive bodhisattvas 
from this world will be born there. Each of these bodhisattvas has previously 
made offerings to innumerable buddhas with almost as much diligence as you 278c 



59 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



did, Maitreya. Furthermore, bodhisattvas of lesser practices and those who 
have performed small acts of merit, whose number is beyond calculation, will 
all be born there." 

The Buddha said to Maitreya, "Not only those bodhisattvas from this 
world but also those from buddha lands in other directions are born there. 
First, in the land of the buddha named Far-reaching Illumination there are 
one hundred and eighty kotis of bodhisattvas who all visit there. Second, in 
the land of Buddha Jewel Storehouse there are ninety kotis of bodhisattvas 
who all visit there. Third, in the land of Buddha Immeasurable Sound there 
are two hundred and twenty kotis of bodhisattvas who all visit there. Fourth, 
in the land of Buddha Taste of Nectar there are two hundred and fifty kotis 
of bodhisattvas who all visit there. Fifth, in the land of Buddha Dragon Sub- 
duing there are fourteen kotis of bodhisattvas who all visit there. Sixth, in 
the land of Buddha Superior Power there are fourteen thousand bodhisattvas 
who all visit there. Seventh, in the land of Buddha Simha there are five hun- 
dred kotis of bodhisattvas who all visit there. Eighth, in the land of Buddha 
Undefiled Light there are eighty kotis of bodhisattvas who all visit there. 
Ninth, in the land of Buddha Peak of Virtue there are sixty kotis of bodhi- 
sattvas who all visit there. Tenth, in the land of Buddha Mountain of Excel- 
lent Virtue there are sixty kotis of bodhisattvas who all visit there. Eleventh, 
in the land of Buddha King of Humans there are ten kotis of bodhisattvas 
who all visit there. Twelfth, in the land of Buddha Splendid Flower there are 
innumerable and incalculable bodhisattvas who are all non-retrogressive and 
possessed of unrivaled wisdom, who have previously made offerings to 
countless buddhas, and are able to learn in seven days the adamantine teach- 
ings of the Dharma that can only be attained by mahasattvas after practic- 
ing for a hundred thousand kotis of kalpas. Those bodhisattvas all visit there. 
Thirteenth, in the land of Buddha Fearlessness there are seven hundred and 
ninety kotis of great bodhisattvas and incalculable minor bodhisattvas and 
bhiksus who all visit there." 

The Buddha said to Maitreya, "Not only do the bodhisattvas from those 
fourteen buddha lands 23 visit that land, but also bodhisattvas from innumer- 
able buddha lands in the ten directions, whose number is incalculable. Even 
if I were to give you only the names of the buddhas in the ten directions and 
the number of the bodhisattvas and bhiksus who visit that land, enumerating 



60 



The Larger Sutra 



them continuously day and night for a kalpa, I would not be able to com- 
plete the list. This is why I have given you only a brief description." 

47 The Buddha said to Maitreya, "If there are people who hear the Name of 279a 
that buddha, rejoice so greatly as to dance, and think of him even once, then 

you should know that they have gained great benefit by receiving unsur- 
passed virtue. For this reason, Maitreya, even if a great fire were to fill the 
universe of a thousand million worlds, you should pass through it to hear 
this sutra, to arouse joyful faith, to uphold and chant it, and to practice in 
accordance with its teachings. This is because there are many bodhisattvas 
who wish to hear this teaching but are still unable to do so. If there are sen- 
tient beings who have heard it, they will attain the stage of non-retrogres- 
sion for realizing the highest enlightenment. This is why you should single- 
heartedly accept in faith, uphold, and chant this sutra, and practice in 
accordance with its teachings." 

The Buddha further said, "I have expounded this teaching for the sake 
of sentient beings and enabled you to see Amitayus and all in his land. Strive 
to do what you should. After I have passed into nirvana, do not allow doubt 
to arise. In the future, the Buddhist scriptures and teachings will perish. But, 
out of pity and compassion, I will especially preserve this sutra and main- 
tain it in the world for a hundred years more. Those beings who encounter 
it will attain deliverance in accord with their aspirations." 

The Buddha said to Maitreya, "It is difficult to encounter and behold a 
tathagata when he is in this world. Difficult to access, difficult to hear are 
the buddhas' teachings and scriptures. It is also difficult to hear the excel- 
lent teachings for bodhisattvas, the pdramitas. Difficult too is it to meet a 
good teacher, to hear the Dharma, and perform the practices. But most dif- 
ficult of all difficulties is to hear this sutra, have faith in it with joy, and hold 
fast to it. Nothing is more difficult than this. Thus have I formed my Dharma, 
thus have I expounded my Dharma, thus have I taught my Dharma. You 
must receive it and practice it by the method prescribed." 

48 When the World-honored One had finished his presentation of this sutra, 
aspiration for highest enlightenment was awakened in innumerable sentient 
beings. Twelve thousand nayutas of human beings attained the pure Dharma 
eye; twenty-two kotis ofdevas and humans attained the stage of non-returner 



61 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



(anagamiri); eight hundred thousand bhiksus realized the wisdom of destroy- 
ing defilements; forty kotis of bodhisattvas attained the stage of non-retro- 
gression; and all, adorned with the virtue of the universal vows, will ulti- 
mately attain perfect enlightenment. 

At that time the entire universe of a thousand million worlds quaked in 
six ways, and a great light illuminated all the lands in the ten directions. A 
hundred thousand kinds of music played spontaneously, and innumerable 
marvelous flowers fell in profusion from the sky. 

When the Buddha finished delivering this sutra, Bodhisattva Maitreya 
and bodhisattvas from the lands in the ten directions, together with Elder 
Ananda, other great srdvakas, and all those in the assembly, without excep- 
tion, rejoiced at the Buddha's discourse. 

End of Part Two of the Sutra on the Buddha of Infinite 
Life Delivered by Sakyamuni Buddha 



62 



THE SUTRA ON THE VISUALIZATION OF THE 

BUDDHA OF INFINITE LIFE 

DELIVERED BY SAKYAMUNI BUDDHA 



Translated into Chinese during the Liu-Song Dynasty 
by Tripitaka Master Kalayasas 24 of Central Asia 



1 Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying on Vulture Peak 

in Rajagrha with a great assembly of twelve hundred and fifty monks. He 341a 
was also accompanied by thirty-two thousand bodhisattvas led by ManjusrT, 
the Dharma Prince. 

2 At that time, in the great city of Rajagrha, there was a prince named Ajata- 
satru. Instigated by his wicked friend Devadatta, he seized his father, King 
Bimbisara, confined him in a room with walls seven deep, and forbade all 
the court officials to visit the king. 

VaidehT, the king's consort, was devoted to him. After having bathed 
and cleansed herself, she spread over her body ghee and honey mixed to a 
paste with wheat flour, filled her ornaments with grape juice, and secretly 
offered this food and drink to the king. He ate the flour paste, drank the juice, 
and then asked for water. Having rinsed his mouth, he joined his palms in 
reverence and, facing Vulture Peak, worshiped the World-honored One from 
afar, and said, "Mahamaudgalyayana is my close friend. I beseech you to 
have pity on me and send him here to give me the eight precepts." 

Then Mahamaudgalyayana flew as swiftly as a hawk to the king. Day 
after day he came like this to give the king the eight precepts. The World- 
honored One also sent Venerable Purna to the palace to expound the Dharma 
to the king. Three weeks passed in this way. Because he had eaten the flour 
paste and heard the Dharma, he appeared peaceful and contented. 

3 Then Ajatasatru asked the guard, "Is my father still alive?" 

The guard replied, "Great King, his consort spreads flour paste over her 
body, fills her ornaments with grape juice, and offers these to the king. The 
monks Mahamaudgalyayana and Purna come here through the air to expound 
the Dharma to him. It is impossible to stop them." 

Hearing this, Ajatasatru became furious with his mother and said, 
"Because you are an accomplice of that enemy, Mother, you too are an enemy. 
Those monks are evil, for with their delusive magic they have kept this wicked 
king alive for many days." So saying, he drew his sharp sword, intending to 
kill her. 

At that time the king had a minister named Candraprabha who was intel- 
ligent and wise. Together with JTvaka he made obeisances to the king and 



65 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



said, "Great King, according to a certain Vedic scripture, 25 since the begin- 
ning of this cosmic period there have been eighteen thousand wicked kings 
who have killed their fathers out of their desire to usurp the throne, but we 
have never heard of anyone who has committed the outrage of killing his 
mother. Your Majesty, if you commit such an outrage, you will bring dis- 
grace upon the ksatriya class. As your ministers, we cannot bear to hear what 
people will say. As this would be the act of an outcaste, we could no longer 
remain here." 

Having spoken these words, the two ministers grasped their swords and 
stepped back. Agitated and frightened, Ajatasatru said to JTvaka, "Are you 
not on my side?" 

JTvaka replied, "Your Majesty, please restrain yourself and do not kill 
your mother." 

Hearing this, the king repented and begged their forgiveness. Having 
341b thrown away his sword, he stopped short of killing his mother and instead 
ordered the court officials to lock her up in an inner chamber and not allow 
her to leave. 

4 VaidehT, thus confined, grew emaciated with grief and despair. Facing Vul- 
ture Peak, she worshiped the Buddha from afar and said, "O Tathagata, 
World-honored One, you used to send Ananda to comfort me. Now I am in 
deep sorrow and distress. Since there is no way of my coming to look upon 
your august countenance, World-honored One, I pray you send Venerable 
Mahamaudgalyayana and Venerable Ananda here to see me." 

When she had said these words, tears of sorrow streamed down her cheeks 
like rain. Then she bowed toward the Buddha in the distance. Even before she 
raised her head, the World-honored One, who was then staying on Vulture 
Peak, 26 knew VaidehT' s thoughts and immediately ordered Mahamaudgalya- 
yana and Ananda to go to her through the air; he himself disappeared from 
the mountain and reappeared in the inner chamber of the royal palace. 

After worshiping him, VaidehT raised her head and saw Sakyamuni 
Buddha, the World-honored One. He was the color of purple-gold and was 
seated upon a lotus flower of a hundred jewels. He was attended by Maha- 
maudgalyayana on his left and Ananda on his right. Sakra, Brahma, the 
guardian gods of the world, and other devas were in the air about him. Scat- 
tering heavenly blossoms like rain, they paid homage to the Buddha. 



66 



The Contemplation Sutra 



When she saw the World-honored One, Vaidehl tore off her ornaments 
and prostrated herself on the ground. Weeping bitterly, she said to the Buddha, 
"O World-honored One, what bad karma did I commit in former lives that 
I have given birth to such an evil son? I wonder, World-honored One, what 
karmic relations could have made you a relative of Devadatta? 

5 "I beseech you, World-honored One, to reveal to me a land of no sorrow 
and no affliction where I can be reborn. I do not wish to live in this defiled 
and evil world of JambudvTpa where there are hells, realms of hungry ghosts, 
animals, and many vile beings. I wish that in the future I shall not hear evil 
words or see wicked people. World-honored One, I now kneel down to repent 
and beg you to take pity on me. I entreat you, O sunlike Buddha, to teach 
me how to visualize a land of pure karmic perfection." 

Then the World-honored One sent forth from between his eyebrows a 
flood of light that was the color of gold and illuminated the innumerable worlds 
in the ten directions. Returning to the Buddha, the light settled on his head and 
transformed itself into a golden platform resembling Mount Sumeru. On the 
platform appeared the pure and resplendent lands of all the buddhas in the ten 
directions. Some of these lands were made of the seven kinds of jewels, some 
solely of lotus flowers; some resembled the palace in the Heaven of Free Enjoy- 
ment of Manifestations by Others, while some were like a crystal mirror in 
which all the lands in the ten directions were reflected. Innumerable buddha 
lands like these, glorious and beautiful, were displayed to her. 

Vaidehi then said to the Buddha, "O World-honored One, these buddha 
lands are pure and free of defilement, and all of them are resplendent. But I 
wish to be born in the Land of Utmost Bliss of Amitayus. I beseech you, World- 
honored One, to teach me how to contemplate that land and attain samadhi. " 341c 

6 The World-honored One smiled, and from his mouth came five-colored 
rays of light, each shining on King Bimbisara's head. Although the old king 
was confined, with his unhindered mind's eye he saw the World-honored 
One in the distance. He knelt down in homage to the Buddha and effortlessly 
made spiritual progress until he reached the stage of non-returner. 

7 Then the World-honored One said to Vaidehi, "Do you know that Amitayus 
is not far away? Fix your thoughts upon and contemplate that buddha land. 



67 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



Then you will accomplish the pure acts. 27 1 shall describe it to you in detail 
with various illustrations, so that all ordinary people in the future who wish 
to practice pure karma may also be born in that Western Land of Utmost 
Bliss. Whoever wishes to be born there should practice the three acts: first, 
caring for one's parents, attending to one's teachers and elders, compas- 
sionately refraining from killing, and doing the ten good deeds; second, tak- 
ing the Three Refuges, keeping the various precepts, and refraining from 
breaking the rules of conduct; and third, awakening aspiration for enlight- 
enment (bodhicitta), believing deeply in the law of causality, chanting the 
Mahayana sutras, and encouraging people to follow their teachings. These 
three are called pure karma." 

The Buddha further said to VaidehT, "Do you know that these three acts 
are the pure karma practiced by all the buddhas of the past, present, and 
future as the right cause of enlightenment?" 

8 The Buddha said to Ananda and VaidehT, "Listen carefully, listen carefully 
and ponder deeply. I, the Tathagata, shall discourse on pure karma for the 
sake of all sentient beings of the future who are afflicted by the enemy, evil 
passions. It is very good, VaidehT, that you have willingly asked me about 
this. Ananda, you must receive and keep the Buddha's words and widely pro- 
claim them to the multitude of beings. I, the Tathagata, shall now teach you, 
VaidehT, and all sentient beings of the future how to visualize the Western 
Land of Utmost Bliss. By the power of the Buddha all will be able to see the 
Pure Land as clearly as if one were looking at one's own reflection in a bright 
mirror. Seeing the utmost beauty and bliss of that land, they will rejoice and 
immediately attain insight into the non-arising of all dharmas." 

The Buddha said to VaidehT, "You are unenlightened and so your spir- 
itual powers are weak and obscured. Since you have not yet attained the 
divine eye, you cannot see that which is distant. But the buddha tathagatas 
have special ways to enable you to see afar." 

VaidehT said to the Buddha, "World-honored One, through the Buddha's 
power, even I have now been able to see that land. But after the Buddha's 
passing sentient beings will become defiled and evil and be oppressed by 
the five kinds of suffering. How then will those beings be able to see the 
Land of Utmost Bliss of Amitayus?" 



68 



The Contemplation Sutra 



9 The Buddha said to VaidehT, "You and other sentient beings should con- 
centrate and, with one -pointed attention, turn your thoughts westward. How 
do you contemplate? All sentient beings except those born blind — that is, 

all those with the faculty of sight — should look at the setting sun. Sit in the 342a 
proper posture, facing west. Clearly gaze at the sun, with mind firmly fixed 
on it; concentrate your sight and do not let it wander from the setting sun, 
which is like a drum suspended above the horizon. Having done so, you 
should then be able to visualize it clearly, whether your eyes are open or 
closed. This is the visualization of the sun and is known as the first con- 
templation. To practice in this way is called the correct contemplation, and 
to practice otherwise is incorrect." 

10 The Buddha said to Ananda and VaidehT, "After you have accomplished 
the first contemplation, next practice the visualization of water. Envision the 
western direction as entirely flooded by water. Then picture the water as clear 
and pure, and let this vision be distinctly perceived. Keep your thoughts from 
being distracted. After you have visualized the water, envision it becoming 
frozen. After you have visualized the ice as transparent to its depth, see it 
turning into beryl. When you have attained this vision, next imagine that the 
beryl ground shines brilliantly, inside and out, and that this ground is sup- 
ported from below by columns that are made of diamond and the seven kinds 
of jewels and hung with golden banners. These columns have eight sides and 
eight corners, each side being adorned with a hundred kinds of jewels. Each 
jewel emits a thousand rays of light, each ray in turn having eighty-four thou- 
sand colors. As they are reflected on the beryl ground, they look like a thou- 
sand kotis of suns, so dazzling that it is impossible to see them in detail. 

"On this beryl ground, golden paths intercross like a net of cords. The land 
is divided into areas made of one or the other of the seven jewels, so the parti- 
tions are quite distinct. Each jewel emits a flood of light in five hundred col- 
ors. The light appears in the shape of a flower or a star or the moon; suspended 
in the sky, it turns into a platform of light on which there are ten million pavil- 
ions made of a hundred kinds of jewels. Both sides of this platform are adorned 
with a hundred kotis of flowered banners and innumerable musical instruments. 
As eight pure breezes arise from the light and play the musical instruments, 
they proclaim the truths of suffering, emptiness, impermanence, and no-self 
This is the visualization of the water and is known as the second contemplation. 



69 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



11 "When you have attained this contemplation, visualize each object quite 
clearly without losing the image, whether your eyes are closed or open. 
Except when sleeping, 28 always keep it in mind. To practice in this way is 
called the correct contemplation, and to practice otherwise is incorrect." 

The Buddha said to Ananda and VaidehT, "When the visualization of 
the water has been accomplished, it is called the general perception of the 
ground of the Land of Utmost Bliss. If you attain a state of samddhi, you 
will see this ground so clearly and distinctly that it will be impossible to 
describe it in detail. This is the visualization of the ground and is known as 
the third contemplation." 

The Buddha said to Ananda, "Keep these words of the Buddha in mind, 
and expound this method of visualizing the ground for the benefit of the mul- 
titude of future beings who will seek liberation from suffering. If one has 
attained a vision of the ground of that land, the evil karma that would bind 
one to birth and death for eighty kotis of kalpas 19 will be extinguished, and 
so one will certainly be born in the Pure Land in the next life. Do not doubt 
this. To practice in this way is called the correct contemplation, and to prac- 
342b tice otherwise is incorrect." 

12 The Buddha said to Ananda and VaidehT, "When you have accomplished 
visualization of the ground, next contemplate the jeweled trees. This is how 
to do so. Visualize each one and then form an image of seven rows of trees, 
each being eight thousand yojanas high and adorned with seven-jeweled 
blossoms and leaves. Each blossom and leaf has the colors of various jew- 
els. From the beryl-colored blossoms and leaves issues forth a golden light. 
From the crystal-colored [blossoms and leaves] issues forth a crimson light. 
From the agate-colored [blossoms and leaves] issues forth a sapphire light. 
From the sapphire-colored [blossoms and leaves] issues forth a green pearl 
light. Coral, amber, and all the other jewels serve as illuminating ornaments. 
Splendid nets of pearls cover the trees. Between these seven rows of nets 
covering each tree there are five hundred kotis of palaces adorned with exqui- 
site flowers, like the palace of the Brahma king, where celestial children nat- 
urally dwell. Each of these children wears ornaments made of five hundred 
kotis of sakra-abhilagna-mani-gems, which light up a hundred yojanas in 
all directions, like a hundred kotis of suns and moons shining together, and 



70 



The Contemplation Sutra 



so it is impossible to describe them in detail. Manifold jewels intermingle, 
producing the most beautiful colors. 

"Rows of these jeweled trees are evenly arranged and their leaves are 
equally spaced. From among the leaves appear wonderful blossoms which 
spontaneously bear fruits of the seven kinds of jewels. Each leaf is twenty- 
five yojanas in both length and breadth. Like the celestial ornaments, the 
leaves are of a thousand colors and a hundred patterns. These trees have mar- 
velous blossoms which are the color of gold from the Jambu River and spin 
like firewheels among the leaves. From these blossoms appear various fruits, 
as from Sakra's vase, and from the fruits issue forth great floods of light 
which transform themselves into banners and innumerable jeweled canopies. 
Inside the jeweled canopies can be seen reflections of all the activities of the 
Buddha throughout the universe of a thousand million worlds. The buddha 
lands in the ten directions are also reflected in them. 

"After you have seen these trees, visualize each detail in order: the trunks, 
branches, leaves, blossoms, and fruits, and let your vision of all of them be 
clear and distinct. This is the visualization of the trees and is known as the 
fourth contemplation. To practice in this way is called the correct contem- 
plation, and to practice otherwise is incorrect." 

13 The Buddha said to Ananda and Vaidehl, "When you have accomplished 
visualization of the trees, next contemplate the ponds. 30 This is how to do 
so. In the Land of Utmost Bliss, there are ponds of water possessing the eight 
excellent qualities, each made of the seven kinds of jewels that are soft and 
pliable. The water, springing from a wish-fulfilling king mani-gem, forms 
fourteen streams. Each stream is the color of the seven kinds of jewels. Its 
banks are made of gold and its bed is strewn with diamond sand of many 
colors. In each stream there are sixty kotis of lotus flowers of the seven kinds 
of jewels, which are round and symmetrical, measuring twelve yojanas in 
diameter. The water from the mani-gem flows among the flowers and mean- 
ders between the trees. As it ripples it produces exquisite sounds, which pro- 342c 
claim the truths of suffering, emptiness, impermanence, and no-self, and of 
the par amitas. Its sound also praises the physical characteristics and marks 
of the buddhas. The wish-fulfilling king mani-gem emits a splendid golden 
light, which transforms itself into birds with the colors of a hundred jewels. 



71 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



Their songs are melodious and elegant, constantly praising the virtue of mind- 
fulness of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. This is the visualization of the 
water possessing the eight excellent qualities and is known as the fifth con- 
templation. To practice in this way is called the correct contemplation, and 
to practice otherwise is incorrect." 

14 The Buddha said to Ananda and VaidehT, "In each region of this jeweled 
land there are five hundred kotis of jeweled pavilions in which innumerable 
devas play heavenly music. There are also musical instruments suspended 
in the sky, which, like those on the heavenly jeweled banners, 31 spontaneously 
produce tones even without a player. Each tone proclaims the virtue of mind- 
fulness of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. When this contemplation has been 
accomplished, it is known as the general perception of the jeweled trees, 
jeweled ground, and jeweled ponds of the Land of Utmost Bliss. This is a 
composite visualization and is called the sixth contemplation. 

"Those who have perceived these objects will be rid of extremely heavy 
evil karma which they have committed during innumerable kalpas and will 
certainly, after death, be born in that land. To practice in this way is called 
the correct contemplation, and to practice otherwise is incorrect." 

15 The Buddha said to Ananda and VaidehT, "Listen carefully, listen care- 
fully and ponder deeply. I will expound for you the method of removing suf- 
fering. Bear my words in mind and explain them to the multitude of beings." 

When these words were spoken, Amitayus appeared in the air above, 
attended on his left and right by the two mahdsattvas Avalokitesvara and 
Mahasthamaprapta. So brilliant was their radiance that it was impossible to 
see them in detail. They could not be compared even with a hundred thou- 
sand nuggets of gold from the Jambu River. 

After she had this vision of Amitayus, VaidehT knelt down in worship 
at Sakyamuni's feet and said to him, "World-honored One, through your 
power I have been able to see Amitayus and the two bodhisattvas, but how 
can sentient beings of the future see them?" 

The Buddha said to VaidehT, "Those who wish to see that Buddha should 
form an image of a lotus flower on the seven-jeweled ground. They visual- 
ize each petal of this flower as having the colors of a hundred kinds of jew- 
els and eighty-four thousand veins like a celestial painting, with eighty-four 



72 



The Contemplation Sutra 



thousand rays of light issuing forth from each vein. They should visualize all 
of these clearly and distinctly. Its smaller petals are two hundred and fifty 
yojanas in both length and breadth. This lotus flower has eighty-four thousand 
large petals. Between the petals there are a hundred kotis of king mani-gems 
as illuminating adornments. Each mani-gem emits a thousand rays of light 
which, like canopies made of the seven kinds of jewels, cover the entire earth. 343a 

"The dais is made of sakra-abhilagna-mani-gems and is decorated with 
eighty thousand diamonds, kimsuka-gems, brahma-mani-gems, and also with 
exquisite pearl nets. On the dais four columns with jeweled banners spon- 
taneously arise, each appearing to be as large as a thousand million kotis of 
Mount Sumerus. On the columns rest a jeweled canopy similar to that in the 
palace of the Yama Heaven. It is also adorned with five hundred kotis of 
excellent gems, each emitting eighty-four thousand rays shining in eighty- 
four thousand different tints of golden color. Each golden light suffuses this 
jeweled land and transforms itself everywhere into various forms, such as 
diamond platforms, nets of pearls, and nebulous clusters of flowers. In all 
the ten directions it transforms itself into anything according to one's wishes 
and performs the activities of the Buddha. This is the visualization of the 
lotus throne and is known as the seventh contemplation." 

The Buddha further said to Ananda, "This majestic lotus flower was 
originally produced by the power of Bhiksu Dharmakara's [Original] Vow. 
Those who wish to see Buddha Amitayus should first practice this contem- 
plation of the flower throne. In doing so, do not contemplate in a disorderly 
way. Visualize the objects one by one — each petal, each gem, each ray of 
light, each dais, and each column. See all of these as clearly and distinctly 
as if you were looking at your own image in a mirror. When this contem- 
plation is accomplished, the evil karma that would bind you to birth and 
death for five hundred kotis of kalpas will be extinguished, and you will cer- 
tainly be born in the Land of Utmost Bliss. To practice in this way is called 
the correct contemplation, and to practice otherwise is incorrect." 

16 The Buddha said to Ananda and Vaidehl, "After you have seen this, next 
visualize the Buddha. Why the Buddha? Because buddha tathagatas have 
cosmic bodies, 32 and so enter into the meditating mind of each sentient being. 
For this reason, when you contemplate a buddha, your mind itself takes the 



73 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



form of his thirty-two physical characteristics and eighty secondary marks. 
Your mind produces the Buddha's image and is itself the Buddha. 33 The ocean 
of perfectly and universally enlightened buddhas thus arises in the meditat- 
ing mind. For this reason, you should singlemindedly concentrate and deeply 
contemplate the Buddha Tathagata, Arhat, and Perfectly Enlightened One. 

"When you visualize the Buddha, you should first form his image. 
Whether your eyes are open or closed, perceive a jeweled image of him, who 
is the color of gold from the Jambu River, sitting on that flower throne. When 
you have thus perceived a seated image of the Buddha, your mind's eye will 
open and you will clearly and distinctly see the seven-jeweled glorious objects 
of the Land of Utmost Bliss, including the seven-jeweled ground, the jew- 
eled ponds, the rows of jeweled trees covered with heavenly jeweled cur- 
tains, and jeweled nets spreading over the sky. Perceive these as clearly and 
distinctly as if you were seeing an object in the palm of your hand. 

"After you have seen this image, visualize on the Buddha's left a large 
343b lotus flower which is exactly the same as the one described above, and then 
another large one on his right. Visualize an image of Bodhisattva Avalo- 
kitesvara sitting on the flower seat on his left, sending forth a golden light 
just like the buddha image described above, and then an image of Bodhi- 
sattva Mahasthamaprapta sitting on the flower seat on his right. 

"When you have attained this vision, you will see these images of the 
Buddha and bodhisattvas sending forth golden rays, which illuminate the 
jeweled trees. Under each tree there are also three lotus flowers with images 
of a buddha and two bodhisattvas sitting on them, so that the land is com- 
pletely filled with such images. 

When you have attained this vision, you will perceive the streams, rays 
of light, jeweled trees, ducks, geese, male and female mandarin ducks, and 
so forth, all expounding the wonderful Dharma. Whether in meditation or 
not, you will always hear the wonderful Dharma. When you rise from med- 
itation you should remember what you have heard, not forget it, and con- 
firm it with the sutras. If it does not agree with the sutras it should be called 
an illusion, but if it does agree it is called the attainment of the general per- 
ception of the Land of Utmost Bliss. This is the visualization of the buddha 
image, and is known as the eighth contemplation. If you have attained this, 
the evil karma that would bind you to birth and death for innumerable kotis 



74 



The Contemplation Sutra 



of kalp as will be extinguished and, while in this life, you will attain the 
buddha-recollection samadhi. To practice in this way is called the correct 
contemplation, and to practice otherwise is incorrect." 

17 The Buddha said to Ananda and Vaidehl, "After you have succeeded in 
seeing these images, next envision the physical characteristics and the light 
of Amitayus. Ananda, you should realize that his body is as glorious as a 
thousand million kofis of nuggets of gold from the Jambu River of the Yama 
Heaven and that his height is six hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of yojanas 
multiplied by the number of the sands of the Ganges River. The white tuft 
of hair curling to the right between his eyebrows is five times as big as Mount 
Sumeru. His eyes are clear and as broad as the four great oceans; their blue 
irises and whites are distinct. From all the pores of his body issues forth a 
flood of light as magnificent as Mount Sumeru. His aureole is as broad as a 
hundred kotis of universes, each containing a thousand million worlds. In this 
aureole reside transformed buddhas numbering as many as a million kotis of 
nayutas multiplied by the number of the sands of the Ganges River. Each 
buddha is attended by innumerable and countless transformed bodhisattvas. 

"Buddha Amitayus possesses eighty-four thousand physical character- 
istics, each having eighty-four thousand secondary marks of excellence. Each 
secondary mark emits eighty- four thousand rays of light; each ray of light 
shines universally upon the lands of the ten directions, embracing and not 
forsaking those who are mindful of the Buddha. It is impossible to describe 
in detail these rays of light, physical characteristics, and marks, transformed 
buddhas, and so forth. But you can see them clearly with your mind's eye 
through contemplation. 

"Those who have envisioned them see all the buddhas of the ten direc- 
tions. Because they see the buddhas, this is called the buddha-recollection 
samadhi. To attain this contemplation is to perceive the bodies of all the 
buddhas. By perceiving these, one also realizes the buddhas' mind. The 343c 
buddhas' mind is great compassion. It embraces sentient beings with uncon- 
ditional benevolence. Those who have practiced this contemplation will, 
after death, be born in the presence of the buddhas and realize insight into 
the non-arising of all dharmas. For this reason, the wise should concentrate 
their thoughts and visualize Amitayus. 



75 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



"In contemplating him, begin with one of his physical characteristics. 
Visualize first the white tuft of hair between his eyebrows until you see it 
quite clearly and distinctly. When you visualize it, all the eighty-four thou- 
sand physical characteristics will spontaneously become manifest. When 
you see Amitayus you will also see innumerable buddhas of the ten direc- 
tions. Having visualized these innumerable buddhas you will receive from 
each the prediction of your future buddhahood. This is the general percep- 
tion of all the physical characteristics of the Buddha and is known as the 
ninth contemplation. To practice in this way is called the correct contem- 
plation, and to practice otherwise is incorrect." 

18 The Buddha said to Ananda and VaidehT, "After you have seen Amitayus 
clearly and distinctly, next visualize Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. His height 
is eighty kotis of nayutas of yojanas multiplied by the number of the sands 
of the Ganges River. His body is the color of purple-gold, and on the top of 
his head is a mound surrounded by an aureole with a radius of a hundred 
thousand yojanas, in which there are five hundred transformed buddhas. 
Each transformed buddha resembles Sakyamuni and is attended by five hun- 
dred transformed bodhisattvas and innumerable devas. In the light emanat- 
ing from his entire body are seen the sentient beings of the five realms of 
samsara in all their distinct physical forms. On his head he wears a heavenly 
crown made of sakra-abhilagna-mani-gems, on which stands a transformed 
buddha (Amitayus) measuring twenty-five yojanas in height. 

"The face of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is the color of gold from the 
Jambu River, while the tuft of hair between his eyebrows has the colors of 
the seven kinds of jewels, and from it issue forth eighty- four thousand dif- 
ferent rays of light. In each of these rays dwell innumerable and countless 
hundreds of thousands of transformed buddhas, each attended by countless 
transformed bodhisattvas, all of whom manifest in various forms at will, fill- 
ing completely the worlds of the ten directions. Avalokitesvara' s arms are 
the color of red lotus flowers. They emit eighty kotis of exquisite rays of 
344a light in the shape of ornaments, in which are reflected all the glorious objects 
of that land. The palms of his hands are the color of five hundred kotis of 
various lotus flowers. Each of his ten fingertips bears eighty-four thousand 
signs like impressed patterns, each with eighty-four thousand colors. Each 



76 



The Contemplation Sutra 



color in turn emits eighty- four thousand delicate rays of light, illuminating 
all beings. With his jeweled hands he welcomes and guides sentient beings. 

"When he lifts one of his feet, the mark of a thousand-spoked wheel on 
its sole spontaneously changes into a pedestal, which emits five hundred 
kotis of light rays. When he puts his foot down, flowers made of diamond 
and mani-gems scatter, covering everywhere. All the other physical charac- 
teristics and marks that he fully possesses are the same as the Buddha's, 
except for the mound on his head and the uppermost, invisible part, 34 which 
are not equal to those of the World-honored One. This is the visualization 
of the true physical features of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and is known as 
the tenth contemplation." 

Then the Buddha said to Ananda, "Those who wish to see Bodhisattva 
Avalokitesvara should follow the method of contemplation just mentioned. 
Those who practice this contemplation will not encounter any misfortune 
but will be freed from karmic hindrances and rid of the evil karma that would 
bind them to birth and death for innumerable kalpas. If you only hear the 
name of this bodhisattva, you will obtain immeasurable merit. And so, how 
much more merit will you acquire if you clearly visualize him! Those who 
wish to see Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara should first envision the mound on 
his head and next his heavenly crown. Then they should visualize the other 
physical characteristics in order, as clearly as if they were looking at some- 
thing in the palm of their hand. To practice in this way is called the correct 
contemplation, and to practice otherwise is incorrect." 

19 The Buddha said to Ananda and Vaidehl, "Next visualize Bodhisattva 
Mahasthamaprapta. The dimensions of this bodhisattva are the same as those 
of Avalokitesvara. His aureole, two hundred and twenty-five yojanas in 
diameter, shines to a distance of two hundred and fifty yojanas. The light 
emanating from his entire body illuminates the worlds of the ten directions, 
making them shine like purple-gold. This light can be seen by anyone who 
has a close karmic relationship with him. Even if one sees the light emanat- 
ing from only one pore of his skin, one can perceive the pure and glorious 
lights of the innumerable buddhas of the ten directions. That is why this 
bodhisattva is called Boundless Light. Furthermore, he has great power to 
illumine all beings with the light of wisdom in order to deliver them from 



77 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



the three evil realms. It is for this reason that he is also called Possessed of 
Great Power. 

"The heavenly crown of this bodhisattva is adorned with five hundred 
jeweled lotus flowers, each having five hundred jeweled pedestals. On each 
pedestal appear the pure and resplendent lands of the buddhas in the ten 
directions with all their boundless and glorious features. 

"The mound on his head, shaped like a lotus bud, has a jeweled vase in 
front. This is suffused with various lights which reveal all the activities of 
344b the Buddha. The rest of the characteristics of his body are exactly the same 
as Avalokitesvara's. When this bodhisattva walks all the worlds in the ten 
directions quake. Wherever the earth trembles, five hundred kotis of jeweled 
flowers appear, each as beautiful and brilliant as a flower in the Land of 
Utmost Bliss. When this bodhisattva sits down all the seven-jeweled lands, 
from the land of Buddha Golden Light in the nadir to that of Buddha King of 
Light in the zenith, tremble simultaneously. From between these, manifested 
bodies of Amitayus, Avalokitesvara, and Mahasthamaprapta, as innumerable 
as particles of dust, all assemble like clouds in the Land of Utmost Bliss, fill- 
ing the entire sky. Sitting on lotus seats, they expound the wonderful Dharma 
to save suffering beings. To visualize thus is known as the contemplation of 
Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta, and is also called the contemplation of 
Mahasthamaprapta' s physical characteristics. To visualize that bodhisattva 
in this way is known as the eleventh contemplation. It extinguishes the evil 
karma that would bind one to birth and death for immeasurable and count- 
less kalpas. Those who practice this contemplation will no longer be subject 
to birth from the womb. They can journey to the pure and exquisite lands of 
the buddhas. These contemplations are known as the complete contempla- 
tions of Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta. To practice in this way is 
called the correct contemplation, and to practice otherwise is incorrect." 

20 The Buddha said to Ananda and VaidehT, "After you have contemplated 
thus, next visualize yourself as born in the Western Land of Utmost Bliss 
sitting cross-legged upon a lotus flower. Visualize this lotus flower as closed; 
as it opens, five hundred rays of colored light illuminate your body; then 
your eyes open and you see buddhas and bodhisattvas filling the sky and 
hear the sounds of the water, birds, and trees, and the voices of the buddhas 
all expounding the wonderful Dharma in accord with the twelve divisions 



78 



The Contemplation Sutra 



of the scriptures. When you rise from meditation, keep those things in mind 
and do not forget them. Seeing them thus is known as the visualization of 
the Land of Utmost Bliss of Buddha Amitayus. This is the comprehensive 
visualization and is known as the twelfth contemplation. 

"Innumerable transformed bodies of Amitayus, together with those of 
Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta, will always accompany those who 
contemplate thus. To practice in this way is called the correct contempla- 
tion, and to practice otherwise is incorrect." 

21 The Buddha said to Ananda and Vaidehl, "If you sincerely desire to be 
born in the Western Land, you should first picture a figure, sixteen feet tall, 
on the surface of a pond. The dimensions of Amitayus as previously described 
are boundless and beyond the mental scope of ordinary beings. But by the 
power of the Original Vows of that tathagata, those who contemplate him 
will certainly succeed. You can acquire immeasurable merit simply by visu- 
alizing an image of that buddha. And so, how much more merit will you 
acquire by visualizing his complete physical characteristics! 

"Amitayus, exercising supernatural powers at will, can freely manifest 344c 
his various forms in the lands of the ten directions. At times he may appear 
as a large figure, filling the whole sky; at other times as a smaller figure, 
only sixteen or eight feet high. The figures that he manifests are all of the 
color of pure gold. The transformed buddhas and jeweled lotus flowers in 
the aureole of each manifested form are like those described above. 

"Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta have 
a similar appearance, wherever they are. Sentient beings can only tell one 
from the other by looking at the emblems on their heads. These two bodhi- 
sattvas assist Amitayus in saving all beings everywhere. This is the miscel- 
laneous visualization, and is known as the thirteenth contemplation. To prac- 
tice in this way is called the correct contemplation, and to practice otherwise 
is incorrect." 

22 The Buddha said to Ananda and VaidehT, "Those born in the Western 
Land are of nine grades. Those who attain birth on the highest level of the 
highest grade are sentient beings who resolve to be born in that land, awaken 
the three kinds of faith, and so are born there. What are the three [kinds of 
faith]? They are, first, sincere faith; second, deep faith; and third, the faith 



79 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



that seeks birth there by transferring one's merit. Those who have these three 
kinds of faith will certainly be born there. 

"There are three other kinds of sentient beings who also attain birth. 
Who are the three [other kinds of sentient beings]? They are, first, those who 
have a compassionate heart, abstain from killing, and observe the precepts; 
second, those who chant the Mahayana sutras of greater scope; and third, 
those who practice the six forms of mindfulness. They aspire to be born in 
that buddha land by transferring there the merit of practice. With the merit 
acquired from doing these acts for one to seven days, they attain birth. 

"When an aspirant is about to be born in that land through dedicated 
and undaunted practices, Tathagata Amitayus arrives together with Avalo- 
kitesvara, Mahasthamaprapta, innumerable transformed buddhas, a great 
assembly of a hundred thousand monks and sravakas, and innumerable devas 
in seven-jeweled palaces. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, carrying a vajra seat, 
together with Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta, approaches the aspirant. 
Amitayus releases a great flood of light that illuminates the aspirant's body 
and, along with the bodhisattvas, extends his hands in welcome. Avalo- 
kitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta, together with innumerable bodhisattvas, 
praise and encourage the aspirant. Seeing this, the aspirant rejoices so greatly 
as to dance. Then he sees himself sitting on the vajra seat, and, following 
the Buddha, is born into that land in the time it takes to snap one's fingers. 

"After being born in that land, he sees the Buddha's body complete with 
345a all its physical characteristics and also the bodies of the bodhisattvas equally 
complete with all their physical characteristics. Hearing the discourse on the 
wonderful Dharma sent forth by the light and the jeweled trees, he then reaches 
the insight into the non-arising of all dharma?,. In a single moment, he visits 
and worships all the buddhas of the ten directions and receives from each of 
them the prediction of his future buddhahood. Returning to the Pure Land, 
he is endowed with innumerable hundreds of thousands of dharanfs. Such a 
person is called one who attains birth on the highest level of the highest grade. 

23 "Those who attain birth on the middle level of the highest grade do not 
necessarily uphold and chant the sutras of greater scope, but they compre- 
hend the teachings of the Buddha so well that when they hear the supreme 
truths they are not dismayed. They have deep faith in the law of karmic cause 



80 



The Contemplation Sutra 



and effect and do not slight the Mahayana. They transfer the merit acquired 
to the Land of Utmost Bliss, aspiring to be born there. 

"When such an aspirant is about to die, Amitayus appears before him, 
surrounded by Avalokitesvara, Mahasthamaprapta, and innumerable sages 
and attendants, carrying a purple-gold lotus seat. The Buddha praises him, 
saying, 'Son of the Dharma, because you have practiced the Mahayana and 
appreciate the supreme truths, I have come to welcome you.' So saying, he 
and a thousand transformed buddhas extend their hands all at once toward 
the aspirant, who, seeing himself sitting on the purple-gold seat, joins his 
palms 35 and praises the buddhas. In an instant, he is born in a seven-jeweled 
pond of that land. 

"The purple-gold seat has become like a great jeweled flower, which 
opens after one night. The body of the aspirant has become the color of pur- 
ple-gold and beneath his feet are seven-jeweled lotus flowers. The Buddha 
and bodhisattvas together release a flood of light that illuminates the aspi- 
rant's body. His eyes open, and because of the store of merit from his pre- 
vious life, he hears voices everywhere expounding only the most profound 
and supreme truths. Descending from his golden seat, he bows with joined 
palms and praises the Buddha, the World-honored One. After seven days, 
he immediately reaches the stage of non-retrogression for realizing highest, 
perfect enlightenment. He is also able to fly in the ten directions, as he wishes, 
and to revere all the buddhas and learn various samadhis from them. After 
the lapse of a smaller kalpa, he attains the insight into the non-arising of all 
dharmas and receives from each buddha the prediction of his future buddha- 
hood. Such a person is called one who attains birth on the middle level of 
the highest grade. 

24 "Those who attain birth on the lowest level of the highest grade likewise 
accept the law of karmic cause and effect, do not speak slightingly of the 
Mahayana, and awaken aspiration for highest enlightenment. They transfer 
the merit acquired to the Land of Utmost Bliss, aspiring to be born there. 
"When such an aspirant is about to die, Amitayus, together with Avalo- 
kitesvara, Mahasthamaprapta, and a host of attendants, come to welcome 
him, bringing a golden lotus flower and manifesting five hundred trans- 
formed buddhas. Those transformed buddhas extend their hands all at once 



81 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



and praise the aspirant, saying, ' Son of the Dharma, since you have awakened 
pure aspiration for highest enlightenment, we have come to welcome you.' 
"When he has viewed all this, the aspirant finds himself seated upon a 
golden lotus flower, which then closes. Following the World-honored One, 
345b he immediately attains birth on a seven-jeweled pond. After a day and night, 
the lotus flower opens and, within seven days, the aspirant beholds the Buddha. 
Although he sees the Buddha's body, he is still unable to discern his phys- 
ical characteristics and marks clearly. But after three weeks he sees them 
distinctly, and also hears all the sounds and voices proclaiming the won- 
derful Dharma. Then he can travel in all the ten directions to make offerings 
to the buddhas and hear their profound teachings. After three smaller kalpas 
he acquires clear understanding of the one hundred dharmas and dwells in 
the stage of joy. Such a person is called one who attains birth on the lowest 
level of the highest grade. These three together are known as the contem- 
plation of the highest grade of aspirants, and the fourteenth contemplation. 
To practice in this way is called the correct contemplation, and to practice 
otherwise is incorrect." 

25 The Buddha said to Ananda and VaidehT, "Those who attain birth on the 
highest level of the middle grade are the sentient beings who keep the five 
precepts, observe the eight abstinences, practice in compliance with various 
precepts, and abstain from committing the five grave offenses and other 
transgressions. They transfer the merit acquired to the Western Land of 
Utmost Bliss, aspiring to be born there. 

"When such a person is about to die, Amitayus appears before him, sur- 
rounded by a host of monks and radiating a golden light. He then expounds 
the truth of suffering, emptiness, impermanence, and no-self, and praises 
renunciation of the world as the way to escape from suffering. 

"Seeing this, the aspirant greatly rejoices and finds himself seated upon 
a lotus flower. He kneels down, joins his palms, and worships the Buddha. 
Before he raises his head he attains birth in the Land of Utmost Bliss, where 
his lotus bud soon opens. When the flower opens, he hears various sounds and 
voices extolling the Four Noble Truths. He immediately attains arhatship, 
acquires the three kinds of transcendent knowledge and the six supernatural 
powers, and realizes the eight samadhis of liberation. Such a person is called 
one who attains birth on the highest level of the middle grade. 



82 



The Contemplation Sutra 



26 "Those who attain birth on the middle level of the middle grade are the 
sentient beings who observe for at least a day and a night the eight absti- 
nences, the precepts for a novice, or the complete precepts of a monk or a 
nun, and do not violate any of the rules of conduct. They transfer the merit 
acquired to the Land of Utmost Bliss, aspiring to be born there. 

"When such an aspirant, perfumed by the virtue of observing the pre- 
cepts, is about to die, he sees Amitayus coming toward him with his atten- 
dants, radiating a golden light and carrying a seven-jeweled lotus flower. He 
hears a voice in the sky above praising him, saying, 'Person of good deeds, 
since you are virtuous and have followed the teachings of the buddhas of the 
three periods, I have come to welcome you. ' The aspirant finds himself seated 
upon the lotus flower. The flower having closed, the aspirant is born on a 
jeweled pond of the Western Land of Utmost Bliss. After seven days the 
lotus bud unfolds, and he then opens his eyes. With joined palms he pays 
homage to the World-honored One, rejoices at hearing the Dharma, and 
reaches the stage of stream-winner (srota-apannd). After half a kalpa, he 
becomes an arhat. Such a person is called one who attains birth on the mid- 
dle level of the middle grade. 

27 "Those who attain birth on the lowest level of the middle grade are good 345c 
men and women who are dutiful to and care for their parents and do benev- 
olent deeds for others. When such a person is about to die, he may meet a 

good teacher, who fully explains to him the bliss of the land of Amitayus 
and the Forty-eight Great Vows of Bhiksu Dharmakara. Having heard this, 
he dies; and in as short a time as it takes a strong man to bend and straighten 
his arm he attains birth in the Western Land of Utmost Bliss. Seven days 
after his birth there, he meets Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta, rejoices 
at hearing the Dharma from them, and so reaches the stage of stream-win- 
ner. After one smaller kalpa, he becomes an arhat. Such a person is called 
one who attains birth on the lowest level of the middle grade. These three 
together are known as the contemplation of the middle grade of aspirants 
and the fifteenth contemplation. To practice in this way is called the correct 
contemplation, and to practice otherwise is incorrect." 

28 The Buddha said to Ananda and VaidehT, "Those who attain birth on 
the highest level of the lowest grade are the sentient beings who commit 



83 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



various evil acts but do not slander the Mahayana sutras of greater scope. 
When a foolish person such as this, who has committed much evil but feels 
no remorse, is about to die, he may meet a good teacher, who praises the titles 
of the twelve divisions of the Mahayana scriptures. By hearing these sutra 
titles, he is released from the burden of evil karma that would bind him to 
birth and death for a thousand kalpas. Furthermore, this wise teacher advises 
him to join his palms and call, 'Homage to Amitayus Buddha (Na-mo-o-mi- 
1110-/0).' Calling the Name of the Buddha extinguishes the evil karma that 
would bind the dying person to birth and death for fifty kotis of kalpas. 
"The Buddha then sends his transformed body and those of Avalo- 
kitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta to the aspirant; they praise him, saying, 
'Well done, person of good deeds! By calling the Name of the Buddha your 
evil karma has been extinguished, and so we have come to welcome you.' 
When these words are uttered, the aspirant sees a flood of light from that 
transformed buddha fill his room. Having seen this, he rejoices and dies. 
Seated on a jeweled lotus flower, he follows the transformed buddha and is 
born on a jeweled pond. In seven weeks the lotus bud opens and the bodhi- 
sattva of great compassion, Avalokitesvara, and Bodhisattva Mahasthama- 
prapta appear before him, releasing great floods of light, and explain to him 
the extremely profound teachings of the twelve divisions of the scriptures. 
Having heard these, the aspirant accepts them in faith and awakens aspira- 
tion for highest enlightenment. After ten smaller kalpas, he acquires clear 
understanding of the one hundred dharmas and enters the first stage of a 
bodhisattva. Such a person is called one who attains birth on the highest level 
of the lowest grade. Thus he is born by hearing the Name of Buddha, Dharma, 
and Sangha — that is, the Three Treasures." 

29 The Buddha said to Ananda and VaidehT, "Those who attain birth on the 
middle level of the lowest grade are the sentient beings who violate the five 
precepts, the eight precepts, or the complete precepts of a monk or a nun. A 
foolish person such as this steals from the sangha, or takes the personal 
346a belongings of monks, or preaches the Dharma with impure motives, but feels 
no remorse. Thus he defiles himself by evil karma 36 and because of this he 
is liable to fall into hell. 

"When he is about to die and the flames of hell suddenly close in on 
him, he may meet a good teacher, who compassionately explains to him the 



84 



The Contemplation Sutra 



ten supernal powers of Amitayus, fully describing the majestic power of the 
light of that buddha and his virtues in the observance of the precepts, med- 
itation, wisdom, liberation, and knowledge of liberation. When he has heard 
this, the evil karma that would bind him to birth and death for eighty kotis 
of kalpas are extinguished; thus, the fierce flames of hell turn into cool and 
refreshing breezes, wafting heavenly flowers. On each flower is a trans- 
formed buddha accompanied by bodhisattvas welcoming him. 

"In an instant, he attains birth within a lotus bud on a seven-jeweled 
pond. After six kalpas the lotus bud opens, and then Avalokitesvara and 
Mahasthamaprapta comfort him with their noble voices and teach him pro- 
found Mahayana sutras. Upon hearing these, he immediately awakens aspi- 
ration for highest enlightenment. Such a person is called one who attains 
birth on the middle level of the lowest grade." 

30 The Buddha said to Ananda and Vaidehl, "Those who attain birth on the 
lowest level of the lowest grade are the sentient beings who commit such 
evils as the five grave offenses, the ten evil acts, and all kinds of immoral- 
ity. Owing to such evil karma, a fool like this will fall into evil realms and 
suffer endless agony for many kalpas. When he is about to die, he may meet 
a good teacher, who consoles him in various ways, teaching him the won- 
derful Dharma and urging him to be mindful of the Buddha; but he is too 
tormented by pain to do so. The good teacher then advises him, 'If you can- 
not concentrate on the Buddha then you should say instead, "Homage to 
Amitayus Buddha.'" In this way, he sincerely and continuously says, 'Homage 
to Amitayus Buddha' (Na-mo-o-mi-tuo-fo) ten times. Because he calls the 
Buddha's Name, with each repetition the evil karma that would bind him to 
birth and death for eighty kotis of kalpas is extinguished. When he comes to 
die, he sees before him a golden lotus flower like the disk of the sun, and in 
an instant he is born within a lotus bud in the Land of Utmost Bliss. After 
twelve great kalpas the lotus bud opens. When the flower opens, Avalo- 
kitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta teach him with voices of great compassion 
the method of extinguishing evil karma through the realization of the such- 
ness of all dharmas. Hearing this, he rejoices and immediately awakens aspi- 
ration for enlightenment. Such a person is called one who attains birth on the 
lowest level of the lowest grade. These three together are known as the con- 
templation of the lowest grade of aspirants and the sixteenth contemplation." 



85 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



31 As the Buddha delivered these words, VaidehTand her five hundred female 
attendants listened to his teaching. Having envisioned the boundless features 
of the Land of Utmost Bliss, of Buddha [Amitayus], and of the two bodhi- 
sattvas, Vaidehl rejoiced in her heart. Wonder-struck at this revelation, she 

346b attained great awakening with clarity of mind and insight into the non-aris- 
ing of all dharmas. 37 Her five hundred female attendants awakened aspira- 
tion for highest, perfect enlightenment and desired to be born in that land. 
The World-honored One gave them all assurances that they would be born 
there and that they would then gain the samadhi of being in the presence of 
all the buddhas. Innumerable devas also awakened aspiration for highest 
enlightenment. 

32 Then Ananda rose from his seat, stepped forward, and said to the Buddha, 
"World-honored One, what should we call this sutra and how should we 
receive and retain the essentials of its teaching?" 

The Buddha answered, "Ananda, this sutra is called the 'Visualization 
of the Land of Utmost Bliss of Buddha Amitayus and of Bodhisattva Avalo- 
kitesvara and Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta.' It is also called the 'Purifi- 
cation and Elimination of Karmic Hindrances for Attaining Birth in the Pres- 
ence of All Buddhas.' Hold fast to this sutra and do not forget it. Those who 
practice this samadhi will be able to see, during their lifetime, Buddha 
Amitayus and the two mahasattvas. If good men or women simply hear the 
Name of this buddha or the names of those two bodhisattvas, the evil karma 
that would bind them to birth and death for innumerable kalpas will be extin- 
guished. And so, how much more merit will they acquire if they concentrate 
on them! You should know that all who are mindful of that buddha are like 
white lotus flowers among humankind; Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and 
Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta become their good friends. They will sit in 
the seat of enlightenment and be born into the family of the buddhas." 

The Buddha further said to Ananda, "Bear these words well in mind. 
To bear these words in mind means to hold fast to the Name of Buddha 
Amitayus." 

When the Buddha had spoken thus, Venerable Mahamaudgalyayana, 
Venerable Ananda, VaidehT, and all the others greatly rejoiced to hear the 
Buddha's discourse. 






The Contemplation Sutra 



33 Then the World-honored One returned to Vulture Peak through the air. 
There Ananda fully explained to the assembly what had happened. Innu- 
merable humans, devas, ndgas, yaksas, and all other beings greatly rejoiced 
to hear the Buddha's teaching. Having worshiped the World-honored One, 
they departed. 

End of The Sutra on the Visualization of the Buddha of 
Infinite Life Delivered by Sdkyamuni Buddha 



87 



THE SUTRA ON AMITAYUS BUDDHA 
DELIVERED BY SAKYAMUNI BUDDHA 



Translated into Chinese during the Yao-Qin Dynasty 
by Tripitaka Master KumarajTva of Kucha 



1 Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying in the Jeta Grove 
monastery of Anathapindada's Garden at SravastT, together with a large assem- 
bly of twelve hundred and fifty monks who were all great arhats well known 

to the people. Among them were great disciples such as the elders Sariputra, 346c 
Mahamaudgalyayana, Mahakasyapa, Mahakatyayana, Mahakausthila, Revata, 
Suddhipanthaka, Nanda, Ananda, Rahula, Gavampati, Pindola-Bharadvaja, 
Kalodayin, Mahakapphina, Vakkula, and Aniruddha. He was also accom- 
panied by many bodhisattva mahasattvas, such as Dharma Prince Manjusrl, 
Bodhisattva Ajita, Bodhisattva Sweet-smelling Elephant, and Bodhisattva 
Constant Endeavor, and by innumerable devas, including Sakra, lord of the 
gods, and many others. 

2 The Buddha then said to Elder Sariputra: "If you travel westward from 
here, passing a hundred thousand kotis of buddha lands, you will come to 
the land called Utmost Bliss, where there is a buddha named Amitayus. 38 He 
is living there now, teaching the Dharma. 

3 "Sariputra, why is that land called Utmost Bliss? The beings in that land 
suffer no pain but only enjoy pleasures of various kinds. For this reason, that 
land is called Utmost Bliss. Again, Sariputra, in the Land of Utmost Bliss 
there are seven rows of balustrades, seven rows of decorative nets, and seven 
rows of trees. They are all made of four kinds of jewels and extend over the 
whole land, encompassing everything. For this reason, that land is called 
Utmost Bliss. Again, Sariputra, in the Land of Utmost Bliss there are seven- 
jeweled ponds filled with water possessing the eight excellent qualities. The 347a 
beds of the ponds are covered solely with gold sand, and from the four sides 

of each bed rise stairs of gold, silver, beryl, and crystal. Above these stand 
pavilions adorned with gold, silver, beryl, crystal, sapphire, rosy pearls, and 
cornelian. In the ponds are lotuses as large as chariot wheels — the blue ones 
radiating a blue light, the yellow a yellow light, the red a red light, and the 
white a white light. They are marvelous and beautiful, fragrant and pure. 
Sariputra, the Land of Utmost Bliss is filled with such splendid adornments. 
"Again, Sariputra, in that buddha land heavenly music is played con- 
tinually. The ground is made of gold. Six times during the day and night 
mandarava flowers rain down from the sky. Every day, in the serenity of 



91 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



early morning, the people of that land fill the hems of their robes with exqui- 
site flowers and go to make offerings to a hundred thousand kotis of buddhas 
dwelling in the worlds of all the other directions. Then they return to the 
Pure Land for their morning meal. After the meal they enjoy a stroll. Sari- 
putra, the Land of Utmost Bliss is filled with such splendid adornments. 

"Again, Sariputra, in that land there are always many kinds of rare and 
beautiful birds of various colors, such as white geese, peacocks, parrots, 
saris, kalaviiikas, and jivamjivakas. Six times during the day and night birds 
sing with melodious and delicate sounds, which proclaim such teachings as 
the five roots of good, the five powers, the seven practices leading to enlight- 
enment, and the Noble Eightfold Path. On hearing them, all the people of 
that land become mindful of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. But, Sari- 
putra, you should not assume that these birds are born as retribution for evil 
karma. The reason is that none of the three evil realms exists in that buddha 
land. Sariputra, even the names of the three evil realms do not exist there; 
how much less the realms themselves! These birds are manifested by Amitayus 
so that their singing can proclaim and spread the Dharma. 

"In that buddha land, Sariputra, when soft breezes waft through the rows 
of jeweled trees and jeweled nets they produce subtle, wonderful sounds. It 
is as if a hundred thousand musical instruments were playing together. Every- 
one who hears the sounds spontaneously becomes mindful of the Buddha, 
Dharma, and Sangha. Sariputra, that buddha land is filled with such splen- 
did adornments. 

4 "For what reason, Sariputra, do you think that buddha is called Amitabha? 
Sariputra, the Buddha's light shines boundlessly and without hindrance over 
all the worlds of the ten directions. It is for this reason that he is called 
Amitabha. Again, Sariputra, the lives of the Buddha and the people of his 
land last for innumerable, unlimited, and incalculable kalpas. It is for this 
reason that the buddha is called Amitayus. Sariputra, ten kalpas have passed 
since Amitayus attained enlightenment. Moreover, Sariputra, he has an 
347b immeasurable and unlimited number of sravaka disciples, all of them arhats, 
whose number cannot be reckoned by any means. His assembly of bodhi- 
sattvas is similarly vast. Sariputra, that buddha land is filled with such splen- 
did adornments. 



92 



The Smaller Sutra 



5 "Again, Sariputra, all sentient beings born in the Land of Utmost Bliss 
dwell in the stage of non-retrogression. Many of them are in the stage of 
becoming a buddha after one more life. Their number is so great that it is 
beyond reckoning; it can only be described as innumerable, unlimited, and 
incalculable. 

"Sariputra, those sentient beings who hear of that land should aspire to 
be born there. Why? Because they will be able to meet such sages of supreme 
virtue. Sariputra, one cannot attain birth in that land with few roots of good 
or a small store of merit. Sariputra, if a good man or woman who hears of 
Amitayus holds fast to his Name even for one day, two days, three, four, 
five, six, or seven days with a concentrated and undistracted mind, then, at 
the hour of death, Amitayus will appear with a host of holy ones. Conse- 
quently, when their life comes to an end, the aspirants' minds will not fall 
into confusion and so they will be born immediately in the Land of Utmost 
Bliss of Amitayus. Sariputra, perceiving these benefits, I say: All sentient 
beings who hear this teaching should aspire to birth in that land. 

6 "Sariputra, just as I praise the inconceivable virtue of Amitayus, so do the 
buddhas in the eastern direction as numerous as the sands of the Ganges 
River, such as Aksobhya Buddha, 3 ' Merudhvaja Buddha, Mahameru Buddha, 
Meruprabhasa Buddha, and Manjusvara Buddha. While dwelling in their 
own lands, they extend their long, broad tongues and, encompassing with 
them the universe of a thousand million worlds, pronounce these words of 
truth: Sentient beings should accept this sutra entitled 'Praise of the Incon- 
ceivable Virtue and Protection by All Buddhas. ' 

7 "Sariputra, there are in the southern direction buddhas as numerous as the 
sands of the Ganges River, such as CandrasuryapradTpa Buddha, Yasasprabha 
Buddha, Maharciskandha Buddha, MerupradTpa Buddha, and Anantavirya 
Buddha. While dwelling in their own lands, they extend their long, broad 
tongues and, encompassing with them the universe of a thousand million 
worlds, pronounce these words of truth: Sentient beings should accept this 
sutra entitled 'Praise of the Inconceivable Virtue and Protection by All Buddhas.' 

8 "Sariputra, there are in the western direction buddhas as numerous as the 
sands of the Ganges River, such as Amitayus Buddha, Amitaketu Buddha, 347c 



93 



The Three Pure Land Sutras 



Amitadhvaja Buddha, Mahaprabha Buddha, Mahaprabhasa Buddha, Ratna- 
ketu Buddha, and Suddharasmiprabha Buddha. While dwelling in their own 
lands, they extend their long, broad tongues and, encompassing with them 
the universe of a thousand million worlds, pronounce these words of truth: 
Sentient beings should accept this sutra entitled 'Praise of the Inconceivable 
Virtue and Protection by All Buddhas. ' 

9 "Sariputra, there are in the northern direction buddhas as numerous as the 
sands of the Ganges River, such as Arciskandha Buddha, Vaisvanaranirghosa 
Buddha, Duspradharsa Buddha, Adityasambhava Buddha, and Jalinlprabha 
Buddha. While dwelling in their own lands, they extend their long, broad 
tongues and, encompassing with them the universe of a thousand million 
worlds, pronounce these words of truth: Sentient beings should accept this 
sutra entitled 'Praise of the Inconceivable Virtue and Protection by All Buddhas.' 

10 "Sariputra, there are in the nadir buddhas as numerous as the sands of the 
Ganges River, such as Simha Buddha, Yasas Buddha, Yasasprabhasa Buddha, 
Dharma Buddha, Dharmadhvaja Buddha, and Dharmadhara Buddha. While 
dwelling in their own lands, they extend their long, broad tongues and, encom- 
passing with them the universe of a thousand million worlds, pronounce 
these words of truth: Sentient beings should accept this sutra entitled 'Praise 
of the Inconceivable Virtue and Protection by All Buddhas.' 

11 "Sariputra, there are in the zenith buddhas as numerous as the sands of 
the Ganges River, such as Brahmaghosa Buddha, Naksatraraja Buddha, 

348a Gandhottama Buddha, Gandhaprabhasa Buddha, Maharciskandha Buddha, 
Ratnakusumasampuspitagatra Buddha, Salendraraja Buddha, Ratnotpalasri 
Buddha, Sarvarthadarsa Buddha, and Sumerukalpa Buddha. While dwelling 
in their own lands they extend their long, broad tongues and, encompassing 
with them the universe of a thousand million worlds, pronounce these words 
of truth: Sentient beings should accept this sutra entitled 'Praise of the Incon- 
ceivable Virtue and Protection by All Buddhas.' 

12 "Sariputra, why do you think this teaching is called the 'Sutra of Protec- 
tion by All Buddhas'? Sariputra, all good men and women who hear this 
sutra and hold fast to it, and also those who hear the names of those buddhas, 40 
are protected by all the buddhas and dwell in the stage of non-retrogression 



94 



The Smaller Sutra 



for realizing highest, perfect enlightenment. This is why, Sariputra, you 
should accept my words in faith and the teachings of all the buddhas. 
"Sariputra, those who have already aspired, now aspire, or in the future 
will aspire to be born in the land of Amitayus Buddha all dwell in the stage 
of non-retrogression for realizing highest, perfect enlightenment. They have 
already been born, are now being born, or will be born in that land. Hence, 
Sariputra, good men and women of faith should aspire to birth there. 

13 "Sariputra, just as I now praise the inconceivable virtue of other buddhas, 
they also praise my inconceivable virtue, saying, 'Sakyamuni Buddha, you 
have accomplished an extremely difficult and unprecedented task. In this 
Saha world, during the evil period of the five defilements — those of time, 
views, passions, sentient beings, and lifespan — you have attained highest, 
perfect enlightenment and, for the sake of sentient beings, have delivered 
this teaching which is the most difficult in the world to accept in faith.' 

"Sariputra, you must realize that I have accomplished this difficult task 
during the period of the five defilements. That is to say, having attained high- 
est, perfect enlightenment, I have for the sake of the world delivered this 
teaching, which is so hard for [people] to accept in faith. This is indeed an 
extremely difficult task." 

14 When the Buddha had delivered this sutra, Sariputra and all the monks, 
together with beings of the whole world, including devas, humans, and asuras, 
rejoiced at what they had heard and reverently accepted it. Having worshiped 
him, they departed. 

End of The Sutra on Amitayus Buddha 
Delivered by Sakyamuni Buddha 



95 



2 



3 



Notes 



"And also"; this reading follows the Sanskrit text; tathd is rendered ru zhi (such), but 
here its other meaning "and also" applies. 

The ordinary reading of this stanza, which is not appropriate to the context, is: 

Suppose there are buddhas, 

A thousand million kotis in number, 

And great sages in multitudes 

Countless as the sands of the Ganges River. 

Rather than making offerings 

To all those buddhas, 

I shall seek the Way 

Resolutely and unflinchingly. 

My reading is attested to by the Tang and Song versions and the Sanskrit text. Fu 
ru ("nothing is better than. . .") may correspond to atulya (incomparable), which 
describes bodhi (Way). From the Mahayana viewpoint, to make offerings to buddhas 
is the essential part of the bodhisattva path, far from being contradictory to the prac- 
tice of "seeking the Way resolutely and unflinchingly." 

"A pint measure": I have followed the popular edition which says sheng (pint); the 
Taisho Tripitaka edition has dou (peck), which is too large a measure to be applied here. 

"How long was. . . ?": The Taisho Tripitaka and other editions read, "How long was 
the duration of the land of that buddha?"; amended according to the Tang and Song 
versions and the Sanskrit text. 

"Not knowing": The Taisho Tripitaka edition reads zhi (knowing); I have followed 
the popular editions which read fu zhi (not knowing). 

Nei zhi shi nian, "think of me even ten times": The traditional reading in the Pure 
Land schools in China and Japan is "call my Name even ten times." The correspon- 
ding Sanskrit phrase antaso dasabhis cittotpdda-parivartaih means "even with ten 
arisings of thought"; cf. Max Midler's translation, "even those who have only ten 
times repeated the thought (of that buddha country)." According to Tanluan, shi nian, 
which appears in the Contemplation Sutra, means ten concentrated and uninterrupted 
thoughts on Amitabha and also means ten continuous sayings of his Name. 

Fu he si-yi (inconceivable), acintya in Sanskrit; often used, as in this and other cases, 
to describe a large number; cf. Mahavyutpatti, 7814. 



97 



Notes 



8 "Silken canopies": This reading follows the Ming and popular editions; the Taisho 
Tripitaka edition reads "various canopies." 

9 "Their senses of hearing. . .": The Taisho Tripitaka edition omits "their senses of hear- 
ing will remain clear and sharp"; supplied by other editions. 

10 "Silken canopies": See note 8. 

11 "Sincerely transfer the merit. . .": According to Shinran, it is Amitayus who sincerely 
transfers the merit, so his reading of this sentence is: "through the Buddha's sincere 
transference of the merit (to the aspirants), they aspire to be born there. . . ." 

12 "Amitayus": As for this and four more occurrences of "Amitayus," all editions read 
"Wu Liang jiao" (Immeasurable Enlightened One) except the Tang and the Sanskrit 
texts, which read "Amitayus." 

13 "Supernal aspiration": This reading follows the popular editions; the Taisho Tripitaka 
edition reads "immeasurable mind." 

14 "The nature of all dharmas": I have followed the popular editions; the Taisho Tripitaka 
edition reads "various teaching gates." 

15 The bracketed interpolation is based on the Sanskrit text, in which "innumerable" or 
"immeasurable" describes "merits," not "insight." 

16 "Merit and wisdom": This reading follows the popular editions; the Taisho Tripitaka 
edition reads "merit." 

17 "The power of good karma. . .": This and the following few words have been explained 
contextually rather than translated literally. 

18 "Kinsmen," lit., "inner and outer relatives," i.e., relatives on the father's side and on 
the mother's side. 

19 "The Name of Amitayus," lit., "voice of Amitayus." 

20 "Their transient selves...," hun shenjing shi, is translated here as "transient selves, 
vital energy, and consciousness." Although this section is missing in the Sanskrit and 
Tibetan texts, we find in the Pratyutpanna Samddhi Sutra a similar phrase, shi hun 
shen (Taisho Vol. 13, No. 418, 899b, 905b; see also the English translation by Paul 
Harrison, Numata Center, 1998). From its Tibetan version, we can confirm that this 
phrase corresponds to mam par ses pa (vijhdna, consciousness). 

21 "Wealth": I have followed the popular editions; the Taisho Tripitaka edition reads 
"retain." 

22 "Buddha lands": This phrase is missing in the Taisho Tripitaka edition and so is sup- 
plied according to other editions. 

23 "Fourteen buddha lands": These include this world, which is Sakyamuni Buddha's 
land called "Saha." 



98 



24 



31 



Notes 



"Kalayasas": The popular editions read "Kalayasas during the Yuan-jia era"; the dura- 
tion of this era is 424-453. 



2h 



27 



"A certain Vedic scripture": Source unknown. 

"The World-honored One . . . was staying on Vulture Peak": Sakyamuni Buddha was 
then preaching the Lotus Sutra. 

". . . the pure acts," guan bi guojing ye cheng zhe, admits of different interpretations: 
1) According to Shandao, this passage reads, "Fix your thoughts upon and visualize 
that buddha land; this is called 'accomplishing the pure acts.'" 2) Huiyuan of Jing- 
ying Temple and Yuanzhao, "Fix your thoughts upon and visualize that buddha land 
and the person of pure karmic perfection." 3) Shinran's reading is: "Fix your thoughts 
upon and visualize the person of pure karmic perfection in that buddha land." In his 
Kyogyoshinsho, Chapter VI, "Revealing the Transformed Buddhas and Lands" (see 
Kyogyoshinsho: On Teaching, Practice, Faith, and Enlightenment, translated by Hisao 
Inagaki, Numata Center, 2003), Shinran interprets jingye cheng jia as "the Tathagata 
of Unhindered Light Shining throughout the Ten Directions," namely, Amitabha. 

28 "Except when sleeping": This reading follows the popular editions; the Taisho Tripi- 
taka edition reads "except when eating." 



2') 



"Evil karma that would bind one to birth and death for eighty kotis of kalpas": This 
and similar phrases in the passages below have also been construed as "evil karma 
that one has committed during eighty kotis of kalpas"; a fragment of the Uigur trans- 
lation supports the other reading, which is adopted here. 

"Ponds," lit., "water." 

"Like those on the heavenly jeweled banners": Some scholars take bao-chuang as 
referring to the god of music, Ratnaketu. According to the Sutra on Maitreya's Ascent 
to the Tusita Heaven, there are in the palace of the Tusita Heaven five great gods, 
headed by Jewel Banner (Ratnaketu). He showers from his body seven kinds of jew- 
els; each jewel transforms itself into a musical instrument, which hovers in midair and 
produces music spontaneously without a player. The music contains immeasurable 
tones that are pleasing to people's minds (Taisho Vol. 14, 49b). 

"Cosmic bodies": This is a provisional translation of fajie shen (dharmadhdtukdya, 
Dharma-realm body). This term was interpreted in different ways by Chinese mas- 
ters: 1) Non-Pure Land masters, such as Huiyuan of Jingying Temple, Zhiyi, and 
Jizang, took this as meaning "formless dharmakaya"; in this case, dharmadhdtu or 
Dharma realm is synonymous with zhen ru, true suchness (bhuta-tathatd). 2) Accord- 
ing to Tanluan, this phrase means the Buddha's image produced by the meditating 
mind; here fa jiai means the sphere of mental perception. 3) Shandao interprets fa jiai 
as the realm of sentient beings — as the Buddha's compassion reaches sentient beings, 
so does his bodily manifestation without hindrance; Shandao thus construes the whole 
phrase as "the body accommodated to the realm of sentient beings." 



99 



Notes 



"Your mind produces the Buddha's image, and is itself the Buddha": The phrase shi 
xin zuofa shi xin shifo was differently interpreted: 1) Masters of non-Pure Land 
schools took this as meaning that when the meditation on one's pure nature (sym- 
bolically expressed as Amitabha or Amitayus) is accomplished, one becomes a buddha 
and that there is no buddha apart from one's true nature. 2) Tanluan's interpretation 
is this: Just as the image of an object is seen reflected in the clear water, so the Buddha's 
image is perceived by the meditating mind; thus the Buddha's glorious body is insep- 
arable from one's meditating mind, and so the Buddha does not exist apart from one's 
mind. 3) According to Shandao, the phrase implies that through devotion one per- 
ceives the Buddha's image as if one produced it and that the Buddha manifests his 
body in response to one's contemplation, and so no buddha exists apart from this med- 
itating mind. 4) According to Shinran, the meditating mind implicitly refers to the 
entrusting mind given by the Buddha; since this mind is the bodhi-mmd and the cause 
of buddhahood, it becomes a buddha. Similar terms xin zuofa andxm shi fa occur in 
the Pratyutpanna Samddhi Sutra, which shares much common ground with the Con- 
templation Sutra. 

"The uppermost, invisible part," wujian ding xiang {anavalokita-murdhata), is one 
of the thirty-two physical characteristics of the Buddha. It is the highest point of the 
protuberance on the Buddha's head (usmsa-sirsa), which no one, not even a bodhi- 
sattva of the tenth stage, is able to see. 

"Joins his palms," lit., "joins his palms and crosses his hands." 

"Evil karma": This reading follows the popular editions; the Taisho Tripitaka edition 
reads "evil teaching," efa. 

". . . attained insight. . .": In Shandao's view, Vaidehl attained insight into the non- 
arising of all dharmas when she saw Amitayus and the two attendant bodhisattvas, 
prior to Sakyamuni's exposition of the lotus throne in section 15 of the Contempla- 
tion Sutra, pp. 72-73. 



38 



39 



"Amitayus": Throughout this sutra the Taisho Tripitaka edition has a mi tuo (Amida); 
in my rendition, either "Amitayus" or "Amitabha" is used, depending on the context. 

"Aksobhya Buddha": The names of the buddhas in the six directions are given in San- 
skrit; when no names are available in the Sanskrit text, they have been reconstructed 
from their Chinese translations. For English meanings of the Sanskrit names, see the 
Appendix, List of the Buddhas in the Smaller Sutra, pp. 101-102. 

"All good people . . . those buddhas": The popular editions read "all good men and 
women who hear the Name of Amida Buddha expounded by all the buddhas and the 
name of this sutra." 



100 



Appendix 



List of the Buddhas in the Smaller Sutra with English Equivalents 

East 

Aksobhya (Immovable) 
Merudhvaja (Sumeru Banner) 
Mahameru (Great Sumeru) 
Meruprabhasa (Sumeru Light) 
Manjusvara (Beautiful Voice) 

South 

Candrasuryapradlpa (Lamp of the Sun and Moon) 
Yasasprabha (Light of Fame) 
Maharciskandha (Shoulders of Great Flame) 
MerupradTpa (Sumeru Lamp) 
AnantavTrya (Limitless Effort) 

West 

Amitayus (Immeasurable Life) 
Amitaketu (Immeasurable Ensign) 
Amitadhvaja (Immeasurable Banner) 
Mahaprabha (Great Light) 
Mahaprabhasa (Great Brilliance) 
Ratnaketu (Jewel Banner) 
Suddharasmiprabha (Brilliance of Pure Light) 

North 

Arciskandha (Flaming Shoulder) 
Vaisvanaranirghosa (Universal Sound) 
Duspradharsa (Not to Be Assailed) 
Adityasambhava (Sunrise) 
Jalimprabha (Net Light) 

Nadir 

Simha (Lion) 

Yasas (Fame) 

Yasasprabhasa (Brilliance of Fame) 

Dharma 



101 



Appendix 



Dharmadhvaja (Banner of the Dharma) 
Dharmadhara (Holding the Dharma) 

Zenith 

Brahmaghosa (Brahma's Voice) 

Naksatraraja (King of Stars) 

Gandhottama (Best Fragrance) 

Gandhaprabhasa (Fragrant Light) 

Maharciskandha (Shoulders of Great Flame) 

Ratnakusumasampuspitagatra (Having a Body Adorned with a Jewel Flower) 

Salendraraja (Lord King of the Sala Tree) 

RatnotpalasrI (Glory of Blue Lotus Flower Jewels) 

Sarvarthadarsa (Seeing All Benefits) 

Sumerukalpa (Sumeru-like) 

Buddhist Cosmology 

I. Nirvana/Buddha lands 

II. World of Non-form (drupyadhdtu) 

A. Abode of Boundless Space (dkdsa-dnantya-dyatana) 

B. Abode of Boundless Consciousness (vijhdna-dnantya-dyatana) 

C. Abode of Nothingness (dkihcanya-dyatana) 

D. Abode of Neither Thought nor Non-thought (naiva-samjhd-na-asamjhd-dyatana) 

III. World of Form (rupadhdtu) 

A. The First Dhydna 

1. Brahmaparisadya (Heaven of the Councilors of Brahma) 

2. Brahmapurohita (Heaven of the High Priests of Brahma) 

3. Mahabrahman (Heaven of Great Brahma) 

B. The Second Dhydna 

1. ParTtta-abha (Heaven of Lesser Light) 

2. Apramana-abha (Heaven of Infinite Light) 

3. Abhasvara (Heaven of Supreme Light) 

C. The Third Dhydna 

1. ParTttasubha (Heaven of Lesser Purity) 

2. Apramanasubha (Heaven of Infinite Purity) 

3. Subhakrtsna (Heaven of Universal Purity) 

D. The Fourth Dhydna 

1 . Anabhraka (Cloudless Heaven) 

2. Punyaprasava (Merit-producing Heaven) 

3. Brhatphala (Heaven of Greater Fruits) 

4. Abrha (Heaven Free of Trouble) 

5. Atapa (Heaven without Affliction) 

6. Sudrsa (Heaven of Excellent Viewing) 

7. Sudarsana (Heaven of Excellent Observation) 

8. Akanistha (Highest Heaven) 



102 



Appendix 



IV. World of Desire (kdmadhdtu) 

A. Realm of the Gods (devas): The Six Heavens 

1. Caturmaharaja (Heaven of the Four Kings) 

a. East: Dhrtarastra (Protector of the State) 

b. South: Viriidhaka (Growing) 

c. West: Virupaksa (Deformed-eyed One) 

d. North: Vaisravana (Extensively Heard) 

2. Trayastrimsa (Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods) 

3. Yama or Suyama (Heaven of Good Time) 

4. Tusita (Heaven of Contentment) 

5. Nirmanarati (Heaven of Enjoyment of Pleasures Provided by Themselves) 

6. Paranirmitavasavartin (Heaven of Free Enjoyment of Manifestations by Others) 

B. Realm of Human Beings (manusya): The Four Great Continents 

1. East: Purvavideha (the eastern country of the Videhas) 

2. South: JambudvTpa (the mango-growing island) 

3. West: Avaragodanlya (the western country where cows are used for transactions) 

4. North: Uttarakuru (the country of the northern Kuru) 

C. Realm of Fighting Spirits (asuras) 

D. Realm of Animals (tiryanc) 

E. Realm of Hungry Ghosts (pretas) 

F. Hells (narakas), from top to bottom 

1 . SamjTva (Revival) 

2. Kalasiitra (Black Rope) 

3. Samghata (Crushing) 

4. Raurava (Shrieks) 

5. Maharaurava (Great Shrieks) 

6. Tapana (Burning) 

7. Pratapana (Great Burning) 

8. Avici (Interminable) 



103 



Glossary 



abusing the Right Dharma: Disparaging the true Buddhist teachings, particularly the 
Mahayana teachings. See also Mahayana; Right Dharma. 

Adityasambhava ("Sunrise"): The name of a buddha in the north. 

affliction (Mesa): A mental function that disturbs and pollutes the mind and body. See 
also three defilements. 

Ajatasatru: The son of King Bimbisara and Queen Vaidehl; he imprisoned his father and 
left him to die in jail, imprisoned his mother, and usurped the throne of Magadha. 
Along with the monk Devadatta, under whose influence he committed these evil 
acts, he appears in some sutras as the archetypal evil person who becomes the object 
of the Buddha's compassion. He later repented and became a disciple of the Buddha. 
See also Bimbisara; Devadatta; Magadha; Vaidehl. 

Ajita ("Unconquerable"): The name of a bodhisattva identified with Maitreya. 

Ajnatakaundinya: One of the five earliest disciples of the Buddha. 

Aksobhya ("Immovable"): The name of a buddha in the east. 

Amida. See Amitabha. 

Amitabha ("Infinite Light"; Jpn: Amida): The name of a transcendent buddha who dwells 
in the Pure Land, from the Sanskrit amita ("infinite"); "Infinite Light" symbolizes 
infinite wisdom. Also known as Amitayus ("Infinite Life"), which symbolizes infinite 
compassion. Amitabha/ Ami da is one of the most popular buddhas and is mentioned 
in more than two hundred sutras, of which the Larger Sutra is the most important, 
as one of the canonical texts of Pure Land Buddhism in China and Japan. Amitabha 
began his spiritual career as a mendicant called Dharmakara, who made Forty-eight 
Vows and performed various bodhisattva practices to fulfill them. After many eons 
his vows were fulfilled and he became the Buddha of Infinite Light and Life. His 
land is called SukhavatT, "Land of Utmost Bliss," also known as the Pure Land and 
the Western Paradise. For purposes of meditative practice, the Pure Land sutras 
describe Amitabha's land as being in the west. As promised in the Eighteenth Vow, 
those who have joyful faith and recite his Name, a practice called the nembutsu, 
are assured of rebirth in the Pure Land. The tradition of Buddhism centering around 
worship of Amitabha arose in India and further developed in China and Japan. He 
is thus the principal buddha in the Jodo, Shin, and other Pure Land schools. See 
also Dharmakara; Forty-eight Vows; Name; Pure Land; Pure Land school. 



105 



Glossary 

Amitadhvaja ("Immeasurable Banner"): The name of a buddha in the west. 

Amitaketu ("Immeasurable Ensign"): The name of a buddha in the west. 

Amitayus. See Amitabha. 

Ananda ("Happiness" or "Joy"): Sakyamuni's cousin, close disciple, and personal atten- 
dant, renowned for his ability to recite all the Buddha's sermons from memory. See 
also Sakyamuni. 

AnantavTrya ("Limitless Effort"): The name of a buddha in the south. 

Anathapindada ("Giver of Food to the Poor"): Another name of Sudatta, a wealthy mer- 
chant of SravastI who purchased the Jeta Grove and built a monastery there for the 
Buddha and his sangha. See also SravastI. 

Aniruddha ("Unobstructed"): One of the ten great disciples of the Buddha, renowned 
for his divine sight. 

Arciskandha ("Flaming Shoulder"): The name of a buddha in the north. 

arhat ("worthy one"): A saint, one who has completely eradicated the evil passions and 
attained liberation from the cycle of birth and death (samsara); the highest of the 
four stages of spiritual attainment in the Hinayana. When capitalized, the term is 
one of the ten epithets for a buddha. See also evil passions; Hinayana; ten epithets 
for a buddha. 

aspiration for enlightenment: The mind of enlightenment (bodhicitta), the altruistic aspi- 
ration of the bodhisattva to attain enlightenment (boclhi) and realize liberation in 
order to help other sentient beings toward liberation. See also bodhisattva; enlight- 
enment. 

asura: A class of demigods; a fighting spirit; one of the eight kinds of superhuman beings 
that protect Buddhism. See also eight kinds of superhuman beings. 

Asvajit ("Gaining Horses"): One of the five earliest disciples of the Buddha. 

Auspicious Kalpa: The present cosmic period, in which a thousand buddhas are believed 
to appear. 

Avalokitesvara: ("Lord of Beholding"): The name of a great bodhisattva who represents 
Amitabha's great compassion. One of the two attendant bodhisattvas of Amitabha, 
who frequently appears in a triad with Avalokitesvara on his left and Mahasthama- 
prapta on his right. See also Amitabha; bodhisattva; great compassion; Maha- 
sthamaprapta. 

Bhadrajit ("Gaining Happiness"): One of the five earliest disciples of the Buddha. 

Bhadrapala ("Gracious Protector"): The foremost of the sixteen lay bodhisattvas. 

bhiksu: A fully ordained Buddhist monk. 



106 



Glossary 



Bimbisara: The fifth king of the Saisnaga dynasty in Magadha and a follower of the 
Buddha. In his later years he was imprisoned by his son Ajatasatru and died in 
confinement. See also Ajatasatru; Magadha. 

birth and death. See samsara. 

birth by transformation: A form of birth in the Pure Land attained by aspirants who sin- 
cerely entrust themselves to Amitabha; they are instantaneously bom there and attain 
full physical maturity. See also birth in the embryonic state. 

birth in the embryonic state: A form of birth in the Pure Land attained by devotees who 
cultivate merit by good acts but who do not entirely entrust themselves to Amitabha; 
at death they are reborn in lotus buds in the Pure Land and remain there for five 
hundred years without being able to see or hear the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. 
See also birth by transformation. 

boclhi. See enlightenment. 

bodhicitta. See aspiration for enlightenment. 

bodhisattva ("enlightenment being"): The spiritual ideal of the Mahayana, one who cul- 
tivates wisdom, accumulates merit by performing the practice of six pdramitds, and 
attains enlightenment for the sake of all beings. Upon completion of all the bodhi- 
sattva practices and stages, the bodhisattva achieves buddhahood but vows to refrain 
from entering nirvana until all beings are liberated. Capitalized, the term refers to 
Sakyamuni before his enlightenment. See also bodhisattva stages; buddhahood; 
enlightenment; Mahayana; six pdramitds. 

bodhisattva stages (bhumis): A series of spiritual stages that must be accomplished by a 
bodhisattva who has awakened aspiration for enlightenment (bodhicitta) and made 
vows, culminating in the attainment of buddhahood. In these stages, one is expected 
to perform various practices for innumerable eons over many lifetimes. Ten stages 
were established in Indian Buddhism; Chinese Buddhists later developed a system 
of fifty-two stages. See also bodhisattva; stage of becoming a buddha after one more 
life; stage of joy; stage of non-retrogression. 

bodhi tree: The tree beneath which Sakyamuni sat in contemplation and attained enlight- 
enment. See also contemplation; enlightenment; Sakyamuni. 

Boundless Light: 1) One of the twelve kinds of light of Amitabha; 2) another name for 
Mahasthamaprapta. See also Amitabha; Mahasthamaprapta. 

Brahma: Originally, the creator god in Hinduism, incorporated into Buddhism as a tute- 
lary god. 

Brahmaghosa ("Brahma's Voice"): The name of a buddha in the zenith. 

Brahma Heaven: The heaven of the world of form. See also three worlds. 



107 



Glossary 



Buddha ("Awakened One"): As a proper noun this refers to Sakyamuni; in general use 
it refers to any fully enlightened person or any of a number of transcendent beings 
who embody and represent ultimate truth. See also Sakyamuni; ultimate truth. 

Buddha-Dharma. See Right Dharma. 

buddhahood: The state of becoming a buddha, the goal of the bodhisattva. See also bodhi- 
sattva. 

buddha-garland samadhi: The samadhi entered into by Samantabhadra before teaching 
the Dharma. See also samadhi; Samantabhadra. 

buddha-nature: The potentiality for buddhahood; the essential nature of a buddha that 
all beings possess. 

buddha-recollection samadhi: A state of meditative concentration (samadhi) in which 
the practitioner visualizes Amitabha; also, an intensive practice of recitation of the 
Name of Amitabha through which one attains union with him. See also Amitabha; 
Name; samadhi. 

Candraprabha ("Moonlight"): The name of one of King Bimbisara's ministers. 

CandrasuryapradTpa ("Lamp of the Sun and Moon"): The name of a buddha in the south. 

Cao-Wei dynasty: The Chinese kingdom of Wei founded by Cao Cao in 216. 

clear understanding of the one hundred dharmas: 1) Clear understanding of the one hun- 
dred principles of truth in the stage of joy; 2) in the Consciousness Only school, a 
type of wisdom in which one clearly discerns the one hundred constituent elements 
(dharmas) of all that exists. See also stage of joy. 

compassion: Empathy with those who suffer and the desire to end the suffering of others. 
Compassion and wisdom are the two most important virtues in the Mahayana. See 
also great compassion. 

complete precepts of a monk or nun: The two hundred and fifty precepts for a fully 
ordained monk (bhiksu) or three hundred and forty-eight for a fully ordained nun 
(bhiksuni). See also precepts. 

Confucianism: An ethical, religious system of China originating in the teaching of Con- 
fucius (c. 55 1 — 479 B.C.E.); it centers around filial duty and emphasizes the virtues 
of benevolence and propriety. More specifically, Confucianism teaches the five con- 
stant virtues to be followed by all people: benevolence, righteousness, propriety, 
wisdom, and sincerity. The original individualistic ethical ideal developed into a 
political one; Confucius sought to establish the norm of ethics for the king. His 
influence was so great that the number of his disciples is said to have been three 
thousand. After his death, Confucian sanctuaries were built throughout China and 
its teachings spread far and wide in China and beyond — Confucianism formed the 
basic ethical norm of Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. See also five virtues. 



108 



Glossary 



contemplation: A state of meditative concentration in which the meditator and the object 
of meditation become one; serene contemplation. See also samddhi. 

definitely assured stage: The stage attained by those who have absolute faith in Amitabha 
and are thus assured of birth in the Pure Land and attainment of buddhahood; same 
as the stage of non-retrogression. See also Amitabha; buddhahood; Pure Land; stage 
of non-retrogression. 

deva: A god, a divine being; one of the eight kinds of superhuman beings that protect 
Buddhism. See also eight kinds of superhuman beings. 

Devadatta ("God-given"): A cousin of the Buddha who became his disciple but later 
tried to murder him and assume leadership of the sangha. Devadatta incited Prince 
Ajatasatru to kill his father, King Bimbisara, and usurp the throne. See also Aja- 
tasatru; Bimbisara; sangha. 

dharani: A mystic phrase, spell, or incantation. 

dharma: Any phenomenon, thing, element, or attribute; the elements that make up the 
perceived phenomenal world. 

Dharma: The truth, law; the teachings of the Buddha. See also Right Dharma. 

Dharmadhara ("Holder of the Dharma"): The name of a buddha in the nadir. 

Dharmadhvaja ("Banner of the Dharma"): The name of a buddha in the nadir. 

Dharmakara ("Store of the Dharma"): The name of the bodhisattva who made the Forty- 
eight Vows and upon fulfillment of those vows became Amitabha Buddha. See also 
Amitabha; Forty-eight Vows. 

Dharma Prince: An epithet for a bodhisattva; especially used as a title for ManjusrI. See 
also ManjusrI. 

Dharma realm (dharmadhatu): The sphere of ultimate truth or reality; objects of mental 
conception in general; the entire universe. See also ultimate truth. 

dhyana heaven: The four types of heavens of the world of form, in which those who 
practice meditation (dhyana) are reborn. See also Appendix, Buddhist Cosmology, 
pp. 102-103; three worlds. 

DTpahkara ("Making Light"): The name of a past buddha. 

divine ear. See six supernatural powers. 

divine eye. See six supernatural powers. 

Duspradharsa ("Not to Be Assailed"): The name of a buddha in the north. 

effortless spontaneity: The ultimate state of enlightenment in which one thinks and acts 
in accord with the Dharma effortlessly; the nirvanic state attained by those who are 
reborn in the Pure Land. 



109 



Glossary 



eight abstinences. See eight precepts. 

eight kinds of superhuman beings: Eight classes of mythical beings from Indian folklore 
that were incorporated into Buddhism as protectors: devas (gods), ndgas (dragons), 
yaksas (flesh-eating demons), gandharvas (heavenly musicians), asuras (fighting spir- 
its), ganidas (giant birds), kimnaras (heavenly singers), and mahoragas (snake demons). 

eight precepts: Undertaken by lay Buddhists for certain periods of time, they include 
abstaining from killing, stealing, engaging in sexual activity, using false speech, and 
ingesting intoxicants; and refraining from indulging in such idle pleasures as using 
perfumes, singing and dancing, wearing bodily decoration, going to dances or plays, 
sleeping on a raised bed, and eating after noon. The first five of these constitute the 
five precepts. See also five precepts; precepts. 

eight qualities of voice: The voice of a buddha possesses these eight qualities — it is 
pleasant, soft, harmonious, dignified and wise, masculine, unerring, deep and far- 
reaching, and inexhaustible. 

eight samddhis of liberation: States of meditative concentration (samddhi) on 1) the impu- 
rity of the body, to extinguish physical passions; 2) the impurity of external objects, 
to extinguish desire; 3) pure aspects of external objects, to extinguish passions; 4) 
boundless space, to remove attachment to material objects; 5) boundless conscious- 
ness, to remove attachment to space; 6) nonexistence, to remove attachment to con- 
sciousness; 7) the stage of neither thought nor non-thought, to extinguish attachment 
to nonexistence; and 8) the final samddhi that extinguishes all thoughts and percep- 
tions and enables the practitioner to dwell in the stage of complete nirvana. See also 
samddhi; nirvana. 

emptiness: A central Mahayana doctrine that all phenomena (dharmas) come into exis- 
tence only in dependence on causes and conditions (pratityasamutpdda), and thus 
are empty of independent, inherent, and eternal selfhood. See also law of causal- 
ity; Mahayana; no-self. 

Encircling Adamantine Mountains: The outermost mountain range encircling this world 
system, made of iron. See also Mount Sumeru. 

enlightenment (bodhi): The state of the highest perfection of wisdom; the state of undefined 
purity and eternal bliss. Sakyamuni's awakening under the bodhi tree, when he real- 
ized the Dharma of suchness and the innate buddha-nature of all beings and became 
a buddha, represents the Buddhist ideal of enlightenment. See also buddha-nature; 
suchness. 

evil passions: (Mesas): Mental functions that disturb and defile the mind and body. They 
are considered the cause of transmigration in samsara; by extinguishing them, one 
becomes an arhat. In the Mahayana, through recognizing the nonsubstantiality of 
the evil passions, a bodhisattva attains liberation and realizes enlightenment. See 
also arhat; bodhisattva; enlightenment; Mahayana; samsara. 



110 



Glossary 



evil paths. See five evil realms; three evil realms. 

Exalted Being: A synonym for "bodhisattva." 

faith: Generally in Buddhism, this means acceptance of the Buddha's teachings; in Pure 
Land Buddhism, it is singlehearted concentration of Amitabha accompanied by 
recitation of his Name. This practice of concentration and dedication ultimately 
leads to complete entrusting in Amitabha's salvific power and, through it, accept- 
ance of his merits of wisdom and compassion. 

five burnings: The suffering caused by committing the five kinds of evils. See five evils. 

five evil realms: The five lower states of samsaric existence through which sentient beings 
transmigrate due to the results of their past karma — 1) the realm of heavenly beings 
(devas and asuras), 2) the realm of humans, and the three evil realms of 3) animals, 
4) hungry ghosts (pretas), and 5) hell. See also karma; samsara; three evil realms. 

five evils: There are two interpretations — 1) the five acts prohibited by the five precepts — 
killing, stealing, engaging in sexual misconduct, using false speech, and ingesting 
intoxicants; and 2) the five acts contrary to the five constant virtues taught in Confu- 
cianism — benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and sincerity. See also 
Confucianism; five precepts. 

five good deeds: 1) The five precepts, and 2) the five acts which accord with the con- 
stant virtues of Confucianism. See also Confucianism; five precepts; five virtues. 

five grave offenses: The most serious offenses of Buddhist followers, commission of 
which consigns one to the hell realm. They are: 1) killing one's father, 2) killing 
one's mother, 3) killing an arhat, 4) causing a buddha's body to bleed, and 5) caus- 
ing disunity in the Buddhist order (sangha). See also arhat; sangha; three evil realms. 

five sufferings: Birth, sickness, old age, death, and being parted from loved ones. 

five powers: Powers obtained by the practice of the five roots of good — 1) the power of 
faith in the Three Treasures, 2) the power of effort to practice the good, 3) the power 
of mindfulness of the true Dharma, 4) the power of concentration, and 5) the power 
of investigation into the true nature of things. See also five roots of good; Three 
Treasures. 

five precepts: The five basic precepts undertaken by all lay Buddhists: not to kill, steal, 
commit adultery, use false speech, or ingest intoxicants. 

five roots of good: The good spiritual elements that lead one to enlightenment: 1) faith 
in the Three Treasures and the Four Noble Truths, 2) making efforts to do good, 3) 
being mindful of the true Dharma, 4) concentration, and 5) insight into the true 
nature of reality. See also Four Noble Truths; Three Treasures. 

five virtues: The virtues gained by doing the five good deeds; they are commonly inter- 
preted as the five constant virtues of Confucianism. See also Confucianism; five 
good deeds. 



Ill 



Glossary 



Forty-eight Vows: The vows made by Bodhisattva Dharmakara; upon their fulfillment 
he became Amitabha Buddha and established his Pure Land for all sentient beings. 
The Forty-eight Vows are fully explicated in the Larger Sutra. See also Amitabha; 
Dharmakara; Original Vow; Pure Land. 

four great oceans: The oceans surrounding Mount Sumeru. See also Mount Sumeru. 

four groups of followers: Monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen. 

four kinds of jewels: Gold, silver, beryl, and crystal. See also seven kinds of jewels. 

four kinds of offerings: The four requisites of a monk — clothing, food, bedding or a 
sleeping place, and medicine or herbs. 

Four Noble Truths: The fundamental Buddhist doctrine: 1) the truth of suffering, i.e., that 
life entails suffering; 2) the truth regarding the cause of suffering, i.e., that the cause 
of suffering is the evil passions; 3) the truth regarding the extinction of suffering, i.e., 
nirvana, the state of release from all suffering; and 4) the truth regarding the path to 
nirvana, i.e., the Noble Eightfold Path. See also nirvana; Noble Eightfold Path. 

Gandhaprabhasa ("Fragrant Light"): The name of a buddha in the zenith. 

gandharva: A heavenly musician; one of the eight kinds of superhuman beings that pro- 
tect Buddhism. See also eight kinds of superhuman beings. 

Gandhottama ("Best Fragrance"): The name of a buddha in the zenith. 

garuda: A mythological giant bird said to devour dragons; one of the eight kinds of super- 
human beings that protect Buddhism. See also eight kinds of superhuman beings. 

Gavampati ("Lord of Cows"): A disciple of the Buddha. 

Gayakasyapa ("Kasyapa of Gaya"): A younger brother of Uruvilvakasyapa who con- 
verted to Buddhism with his two hundred disciples. 

Golden Light: The name of a buddha in the nadir. 

Golden River: The Nairanjana River, which flows near the village of Bodh Gaya, where 
the Buddha attained enlightenment. 

gong: The first tone of the Chinese pentatonic scale. 

good teacher (kalyanamitra): A good friend in the Dharma, who leads seekers to the 
Buddhist Way. 

great compassion: The mind of a Buddha or bodhisattva, which embraces all sentient 
beings without discrimination. See also compassion. 

Great Sage: An epithet for a buddha. 

Heaven of Free Enjoyment of Manifestations by Others (Paranirmitavasavartin): The 
sixth and highest heaven of the world of desire, where demons are said to dwell. See 
also Appendix, Buddhist Cosmology, p. 103; six heavens; three worlds. 



112 



Glossary 



Heaven of Pure Abode: The fourth dhydna heaven of the world of form; it is divided 
into five levels. See also Appendix, Buddhist Cosmology, pp. 103; three worlds. 

Heaven of the Four Kings (Caturmaharaja): The first of the six heavens of the world of 
desire, presided over by the four guardian gods of the world — 1) Dhrtarastra in the 
east, 2) Virudhaka in the south, 3) Virupaksa in the west, and 4) Vaisravana in the 
north. See also Appendix, Buddhist Cosmology, pp. 103; six heavens; three worlds. 

Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods (Trayastrimsa): The second of the six heavens of the 
world of desire, located on top of Mount Sumeru. Each of the four peaks in the four 
cardinal directions is inhabited by eight gods, with Indra, the lord of the gods, 
dwelling in a palace in the center. See also Appendix, Buddhist Cosmology, p. 103; 
Mount Sumeru; six heavens; three worlds. 

hell. See Appendix, Buddhist Cosmology, p. 103; five evil realms; three evil realms. 

highest heaven of the world of form: Fourth and highest of the four heavens of the world 
of form, popularly known as Akanistha Heaven. See also Appendix, Buddhist Cos- 
mology, p. 103; three worlds. 

Hinayana ("Lesser Vehicle"): A derogatory term applied by Mahayanists to various 
schools of early Buddhism whose highest spiritual goal was the attainment of indi- 
vidual liberation, in contrast to the bodhisattva ideal of the Mahayana. Twenty 
Hinayana schools based on various points of doctrine formed in the early centuries 
of the development of Buddhism. Today the term Theravada ("Way of the Elders") 
is used to describe this school of Buddhism, which is practiced primarily in Sri 
Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and southern Vietnam. See also arhat; 
Mahayana; srdvaka. 

ignorance (avidyd): The basic cause of suffering, which hinders one's ability to attain 
insight into the Dharma. It takes two forms, wrong beliefs and absence of wisdom. 

impermanence (anitya): One of the basic principles of Buddhism; the truth that all phe- 
nomena (dharmas) are subject to change and are impermanent. See also dharma. 

insight into the non-arising of all dharmas: A higher spiritual awakening in which one 
recognizes that no phenomenon (dharma) really arises or perishes; insight into 
emptiness. See also dharma; emptiness; non-arising of all dharmas. 

Jalimprabha ("Net Light"): The name of a buddha in the north. 

JambudvTpa: In Buddhist cosmology, the triangular continent situated to the south of 
Mount Sumeru, corresponding to the Indian subcontinent; the name derives from 
the ■word jambu (mango) because this continent is said to produce a good deal of 
this fruit. See also Mount Sumeru. 

Jambu River: A mythological river that runs through the mango forest in the northern part 
of JambudvTpa, famous for producing purple-gold. See also JambudvTpa; purple-gold. 

Jeta Grove. See Anathapindada. 



113 



Glossary 



JTvaka: A nephew of King Bimbisara who served as a royal minister; also a famous and 
skilled physician who once cured the Buddha of a serious illness. See also Bimbi- 
sara. 

jivamjivaka: A mythological two-headed bird. 

kalavinka: A mythological bird with a woman's head said to possess a wonderful voice. 

Kalayasas (d. 442): A monk from Central Asia who went to China and translated sev- 
eral important sutras into Chinese, including the Contemplation Sutra. 

Kalodayin ("Black Udayin"): A disciple of the Buddha. 

kalpa: An eon, an immensely long period of time. There are three types of kalpas: small, 
medium, and large; a smaller kalpa is a period in which the average human life- 
span increases by one year every hundred years until it reaches eighty-four thou- 
sand years. 

Kapphina: A disciple of the Buddha. 

karma (lit., "action"): Any action of body, speech, or mind (thought), which may be 
either morally good, bad, or neutral. The concept of karma is connected with the 
Buddhist theory of transmigration, since most actions create either a positive or 
negative formation in one's consciousness that lead to rebirth in samsara. See also 
law of causality; samsara. 

kimnara: A heavenly singer; one of the eight kinds of superhuman beings that protect 
Buddhism. See also eight kinds of superhuman beings. 

Kimpila: A disciple of the Buddha. 

kimsuka: A kind of tree that bears beautiful red blossoms. 

King of Light: The name of a buddha in the nadir. 

koti: A large unit of measurement, said to equal ten million. 

ksatriya: The Indian caste (social class) of warriors and nobles. 

KumarajTva (344-413): A monk-scholar from Central Asia who went to China in 401 
and translated many Buddhist texts into Chinese, including the Smaller Sutra on 
Amitdyus. 

Land of Peace and Bliss: Another name for Amitabha's Pure Land. See Pure Land. 

Land of Peace and Provision: Another name for Amitabha's Pure Land. See Pure Land. 

Land of Utmost Bliss: Another name for Amitabha's Pure Land. See Pure Land. 

law of causality: The fundamental Buddhist doctrine which teaches that one's good and 
bad acts (karma) will result in happiness or suffering, respectively. The state of 
one's present life is based on one's acts in past lives, and one's acts in the present 



114 



Glossary 



life determine the state of one's next life. Based on this principle, the unique ethi- 
cal and religious system of practice and discipline developed in Buddhism. In the 
Mahayana, the law of causality is conceived of in a wider sense; the individualis- 
tic view of karma has been expanded to the view of universal interrelatedness, so 
that bodhisattvas and buddhas take all sentient beings' karma as their own. See also 
bodhisattva; karma; Mahayana. 

li: A Chinese unit of measurement, approximately one- fourth to one-third of a mile. 

Liu-Song dynasty (AA2-A19): A Chinese kingdom that existed south of the Yangze River. 

Lokesvararaja ("World-sovereign King"): The name of a buddha; the teacher of the 
bodhisattva Dharmakara. See also Dharmakara. 

Magadha: A kingdom in northern India at the time of Sakyamuni Buddha. 

Mahacunda: A brother of Sariputra who became a disciple of the Buddha. 

Mahakapphina: A disciple of the Buddha. 

Mahakasyapa: The disciple designated by the Buddha as his successor, renowned for 
his strict observance of the precepts. 

Mahakatyayana: One of the ten great disciples of the Buddha, renowned for his skill in 
debate. 

Mahakausthila: A disciple of the Buddha. 

Mahamaudgalyayana: One of the Buddha's foremost disciples, noted for his supernat- 
ural powers. 

Mahameru ("Great Sumeru"): The name of a buddha in the east. 

Mahanama ("Great Name"): One of the five earliest disciples of the Buddha. 

Mahaprabha ("Great Light"): The name of a buddha in the west. 

Mahaprabhasa ("Great Brilliance"): The name of a buddha in the west. 

Maharciskandha ("Shoulders of Great Flame"): 1) The name of a buddha in the south; 
2) the name of a Buddha in the zenith. 

mahasattva ("great being"): A bodhisattva of great compassion and energy who has 
reached an advanced stage of enlightenment. See also bodhisattva. 

Mahasthamaprapta ("Possessed of Great Power"): One of the two bodhisattvas attend- 
ing Amitabha; he represents Amitabha's wisdom. See also Amitabha; Avalokites- 
vara; wisdom. 

Mahayana ("Great Vehicle"): Along with the Hinayana, one of the two major schools 
of Buddhism. The Mahayana aims at bringing all sentient beings to buddhahood. 
Followers of the Mahayana are called bodhisattvas, who at the outset of their careers 



115 



Glossary 



make vows to save all beings, and cultivate merit and wisdom in order to fulfill 
these vows. When their vows are fulfilled, bodhisattvas become buddhas. Although 
historical evidence shows that the Mahayana arose a few centuries after the Buddha's 
lifetime, Mahayanists believe that the essential part of the Mahayana teaching was 
revealed by the Buddha. The development of the Mahayana resulted in a great out- 
pouring of Buddhist literature, including the Garland Sutra, the Prajnaparamita 
("Perfection of Wisdom") sutras, and others, including the three Pure Land sutras. 
Mahayana is the primary form of Buddhism practiced in northern Vietnam, Nepal, 
Bhutan, Tibet, China, Mongolia, Korea, and Japan. See also bodhisattva; Hinayana. 

mahogara: A type of supernatural being said to have the body of a human and the head 
of a snake; a god of music; one of the eight kinds of superhuman beings that protect 
Buddhism. See also eight kinds of superhuman beings. 

Maitreya ("Friendly"): A bodhisattva currently dwelling in the Tusita Heaven, who will 
appear in this world as the next buddha. See also Tusita Heaven. 

mdnddrava: A beautiful and fragrant flower; its name translates as "heavenly wonder- 
ful flower." 

mam-gem: A legendary precious gem of a globular shape with a short pointed top, called 
the "wish-fulfilling gem" because it is supposedly able to produce treasure or per- 
form supernatural feats at the wish of its owner. 

ManjusrI ("Beauty and Glory"): The name of a bodhisattva who represents the wisdom 
and enlightenment of all buddhas; often portrayed mounted on a lion, attending 
Sakyamuni. 

Manjusvara ("Beautiful Voice"): The name of a buddha in the east. 

Mara: King of the devils, the personification of evil in the Buddhist sutras. 

meditation. See contemplation; samddhi. 

meditation of vast and universal tranquility: The samddhi entered into by bodhisattvas of 
the ninth stage before teaching the Dharma. See also samddhi; bodhisattva stages. 

Merudhvaja ("Sumeru Banner"): The name of a buddha in the east. 

Meruprabhasa ("Sumeru Light"): The name of a buddha in the east. 

MerupradTpa ("Sumeru Lamp"): The name of a buddha in the south. 

middle and lower stages: The two stages of advanced Hinayana practice, those of the 
srdvakas and pratyekabuddhas. See also Hinayana; pratyekabuddha; srdvaka. 

Mount Sumeru: In Buddhist cosmology, the highest mountain rising from the center of 
the world; it has four sides, is narrowest in the center, and is surrounded by eight 
mountain ranges; in the ocean between the seventh and eighth of these ranges are 
the four great continents inhabited by human beings. 



116 



Glossary 



Nadikasyapa ("Kasyapa of Nadr'): The younger brother of Gayakasyapa who converted 
to Buddhism with his three hundred disciples. 

ndga: A dragon deity; one of the eight kinds of superhuman beings that protect Buddhism. 
See also eight kinds of superhuman beings. 

Naksatraraja ("King of Stars"): The name of a buddha in the zenith. 

Name: Refers to the Name of Amitabha. Recitation of the Name, called the nembutsu, 
is an important Pure Land practice. The Name is believed to perform Amitabha's 
salvific activity; hence, the term does not refer to the figure of this Buddha but to 
the phrase Namu amida butsu (Chinese: Na-mo-o-mi-tuo-fo), which signifies the 
devotee's taking of refuge in Amitabha Buddha. See also Amitabha; Pure Land 
school. 

Nanda ("Joy"): A disciple of the Buddha. 

Narayana ("Son of the Original Man"): A Vajra-god possessing enormous physical 
power. See also Vajra-god. 

naturalness: The state of things as they really are, suchness; ultimate truth or ultimate 
reality. See also suchness; ultimate truth. 

nayuta: A large numerical measurement, said to be equal to ten million or one hundred 
billion. 

nembutsu. See Name. 

nirvana: Liberation from samsara, a state in which all evil passions are extinguished and 
the highest wisdom attained; enlightenment. See also enlightenment; evil passions; 
samsara. 

Noble Eightfold Path: The eight aspects of practice for attaining nirvana, as taught by the 
Buddha in the fourth of the Four Noble Truths: 1) right view; 2) right thought; 3) 
right speech; 4) right action; 5) right livelihood; 6) right effort; 7) right mindfulness; 
and 8) right meditation. See also Four Noble Truths. 

non-arising of all dharmas: Corresponds to the first part of the phrase "neither arising 
nor perishing," often used by Mahayanists to describe the ultimate truth or nature 
of reality. Although phenomena (dharmas) appear to arise and fall away, when seen 
from the viewpoint of ultimate truth they do not. See also insight into the non-aris- 
ing of all dharmas; ultimate truth. 

non-returner (andgdmin): The third of the four stages of spiritual attainment in the 
Hinayana; one who has attained this stage is no longer subject to rebirth in the world 
of desire. See also Hinayana; three worlds. 

no-self: The teaching that all phenomena (dharmas), including one's self, do not pos- 
sess inherent, independent, and eternal selfhood. See also dharmas; emptiness. 



117 



Glossary 



nyagrodha tree: A banyan or Indian fig tree. 

once-returner (sakrdagamin): The second of the four stages of spiritual attainment in the 
Hinayana; one who has attained this state is subject to rebirth only once in each of 
the human and the heavenly realms of the three worlds before attaining nirvana. See 
also Hinayana; nirvana; three worlds. 

Original Vow: Specifically, the Forty-eight Vows made by the bodhisattva Dharmakara 
to save all sentient beings and establish a Pure Land for them. See also Dharmakara; 
Forty-eight Vows; Pure Land. 

original vows ipurva-pranidhand): The vows to save all sentient beings made by bodhi- 
sattvas at the outset of their religious careers. See also Original Vow. 

other shore: Refers to liberation from samsara, when one reaches the other shore of the 
river of birth and death. See also samsara. 

Parayanika: A disciple of the Buddha. 

Perfected One: An epithet for the Buddha. 

Perfectly Enlightened One: One of the ten epithets for a buddha. See ten epithets for a 
buddha. 

period of cosmic change: The four periods in the endlessly recurring cycle of 1) cre- 
ation, 2) duration, 3) destruction, and 4) nonexistence of universes. 

period of the five defilements: A period of general degeneration characterized by five 
signs, consisting of degradation of the 1) kalpa, or eon, 2) views, 3) passions, 4) 
human condition, and 5) human lifespan. 

physical characteristics and marks: Buddhas and bodhisattvas are said to possess thirty- 
two physical characteristics, such as golden skin, blue eyes, a long and broad tongue, 
etc.; and eighty secondary marks, such as soft hands, large ears, blue-black hair, etc. 

Pindola-Bharadvaja ("Pindola of the Skylark"): A disciple of the Buddha. 

pratyekabuddha ("solitary enlightened one"): One of the two kinds of Hinayana sages, 
along with srdvakas, who seek to reach the stage of arhat and attain nirvana. A 
pratyekabuddha attains liberation by observing the principle of the twelve causa- 
tions without the guidance of teacher, and does not teach others. See also arhat; 
Hinayana; nirvana; srdvaka. 

precepts (sila): Vows regarding moral conduct undertaken by lay Buddhists and monas- 
tics. There are five basic precepts for lay Buddhists, a set of eight precepts under- 
taken by lay Buddhists for certain periods of time, and the complete precepts of a 
monk or nun. See also complete precepts of a monk or nun; five precepts; eight pre- 
cepts; six pdramitds. 

pure Dharma eye: Insight into the Four Noble Truths attained in the Hinayana stage of 
stream-winner. See also Four Noble Truths; Hinayana; stream-winner. 



118 



Glossary 



Pure Land: Generally, any Buddha land; specifically, refers to Sukhavatl ("Land of 
Utmost Bliss"), the Buddha land in the West created by the bodhisattva Dharmakara 
on fulfillment of his vows and attainment of Buddhahood as Amitabha. Those who 
are born in Amitabha's Pure Land are free from afflictions and enjoy the supreme 
bliss of nirvana. See also Amitabha; Dharmakara; Forty-eight Vows; nirvana. 

Pure Land school: A school of Mahayana Buddhism that developed in fifth- century China 
and which remains one of the most popular schools of Buddhism in China and Japan. 
The salvific goal of this school centers on attaining rebirth in Amitabha's Pure Land, 
and the Three Pure Land Sutras serve as its doctrinal basis. See also Amitabha; 
Mahayana; Pure Land. 

Purnaka ("Abundant"): A disciple of the Buddha. 

Pumamaitrayanlputra ("Son of Purnamaitrayam" ["abundant friendliness"]): One of the 
ten great disciples of the Buddha, renowned for his skill in teaching the Dharma. 

purple-gold: A type of gold produced by the Jambu River. See also Jambu River. 

Rahula ("Fetter"): The son of Prince Siddhartha who later became the Buddha's disci- 
ple, renowned for his strict observance of the monastic rules (Vinaya). 

Rajagrha: The capital of Magadha at the time of the Buddha; the present-day city of 
Rajgir, India. See also Magadha. 

Ratnaketu ("Jewel Ensign"): The name of a Buddha in the west. 

Ratnakusumasampuspitagatra ("Having a Body Adorned with Jewel Flowers"): The 
name of a buddha in the zenith. 

RatnotpalasrT ("Glory of Blue Lotus Flower Jewels"): The name of a buddha in the zenith. 

Revata: A disciple of the Buddha. 

Right Dharma: The Buddha-Dharma; the teaching of the true Dharma expounded by the 
Buddha. 

Saha ("Endurance") world: The world system that consists of Mount Sumeru at the cen- 
ter and the four great continents surrounding it; the world of human existence, in 
which beings must endure suffering, synonymous with samsara. See also Mount 
Sumeru; samsara. 

Sakra: Another name for Indra, the lord of the Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods; origi- 
nally a Hindu god, later incorporated into Buddhism as a protector deity. See also 
Heaven of the Thirty- three Gods. 

sab-a-abhilagna-mani-gem: The gem on the top of Sakra's head, said to be the most 
precious gem in the world. See also mani-gem; Sakra. 

Sakra's vase: A divine vase that produces anything its owner desires. See also Sakra. 



119 



Glossary 



Sakyamuni ("the sage [muni] of the Sakya clan"): The historical Buddha, who lived in 
India in the fifth century B.C.E. and whose life and teachings form the basis for 
Buddhism. Born Prince Siddhartha Gautama in the kingdom of Kapilavastu in cen- 
tral India, he left home at the age of twenty-nine to seek the Way of liberation. After 
six years of arduous practice and seeking, he attained enlightenment and became 
the Buddha, and taught the Dharma to others. He passed into nirvana at the age of 
eighty in Kusinagara. See also enlightenment; Dharma; nirvana; Way. 

Salendraraja ("Lord King of the Sala Tree"): The name of a buddha in the zenith. 

samddhi: A state of meditative concentration or absorption, focusing the mind on one 
point; also a transcendent mental state attained by the repeated practice of con- 
templation, such as visualizing a buddha or buddha land and realizing emptiness. 
See also contemplation; emptiness. 

samddhi of being in the presence of all the buddhas: A state of meditative concentration 
(samddhi) in which the practitioner visualizes standing face to face with all buddhas, 
in particular Amitabha. See also samddhi. 

samddhis of emptiness, non-form, and non-desire: States of meditative concentration 
(samddhi) in which the practitioner realizes that all dharmas are empty of inherent 
existence and thus are not to be grasped as objects of perception and desire. See 
also dharma; emptiness; samddhi. 

samddhi of extinction: A state of meditative concentration (samddhi) in which the prac- 
titioner enjoys the pleasures of non-thought. See also samddhi. 

samddhi of "universal equality": A state of meditative concentration (samddhi) in which 
the practitioner can see innumerable buddhas. See also samddhi. 

Samantabhadra ("Universally Gracious"): The name of a great bodhisattva who repre- 
sents the ultimate principle, meditation, and practice of all buddhas, the embodi- 
ment of adherence to vows of great compassion; also the right-hand attendant of 
Sakyamuni; often portrayed mounted on a white elephant. 

Samghavarman (ca.third century): A monk from India or Samarkand who went to China 
in 245 and translated several sutras into Chinese, including the Larger Sutra. 

samsara: The cycle of birth and death through which beings transmigrate due to karmic 
causes; the world of suffering, contrasted with the liberation of nirvana that can be 
attained through following the Buddha's teachings. See also five evil realms; karma; 
nirvana; three evil realms; three worlds. 

sangha: The Buddhist monastic order; in a more general sense, the larger community of 
Buddhist followers. Capitalized, the term is one of the Three Treasures. See also 
four groups of followers; Three Treasures. 

sari: A talking bird; possibly a mynah. 

Sariputra: One of the leading disciples of the Buddha, especially renowned for his wisdom. 



120 



Glossary 



Sarvarthadarsa ("Seeing All Benefits"): The name of a buddha in the zenith. 

seven kinds of jewels: Gold, silver, beryl, coral, amber, agate, and ruby. 

seven practices leading to enlightenment: 1 ) Distinguishing the true Dharma from wrong 
views; 2) making efforts to practice the true Dharma; 3) rejoicing in the true Dharma; 

4) eliminating torpor and attaining ease and relaxation; 5) practicing mindfulness 
to maintain the equilibrium of concentration and insight; 6) concentration; and 7) 
mental detachment from external objects, thereby establishing a serene mind. 

shang: The second tone of the Chinese pentatonic scale. 

Simha ("Lion"): The name of a buddha in the nadir. 

single path: The single path leading to buddhahood. 

six acts of accord and respect: The six compassionate acts of a bodhisattva toward the 
sangha in order to save people — 1) performing the same bodily practices as others, 
such as worshiping the Buddha; 2) doing the same verbal acts, such as chanting 
sutras; 3) doing the same mental acts, such as faith; 4) observing the same precepts; 

5) sharing the same view, such as the view of emptiness; 6) sharing the same pro- 
visions, such as food. See also bodhisattva; precepts; sangha. 

six domestic animals: Horses, cows, sheep, dogs, pigs, and chickens. 

six forms of mindfulness: The six objects of mindfulness or contemplation — Buddha, 
Dharma, and Sangha (the Three Treasures); precepts (sila); giving (ddna); and 
heaven with the desire to be reborn there. See also contemplation. 

six heavens of the world of desire: In ascending order, they are — 1) Heaven of the Four 
Kings, 2) Heaven of Thirty-three Gods, 3) Yama Heaven, 4) Tusita Heaven, 5) 
Heaven of Enjoyment of Pleasures Provided by Themselves (Nirmanarati), and 6) 
Heaven of Free Enjoyment of Manifestations by Others. See also Buddhist Cos- 
mology in Appendix, p. 103; Heaven of Free Enjoyment of Manifestations by Oth- 
ers; Heaven of the Four Kings; Heaven of Thirty- three Gods; three worlds; Tusita 
Heaven; Yama Heaven. 

six pdramitds: The six types of practices to be perfected by bodhisattvas on the path to 
Buddhahood — 1) giving (ddna), 2) precepts (silo), 3) patience (ksdnti), 4) effort 
(virya), 5) meditation (samddhi), and 6) wisdom (prajhd). See also bodhisattva; 
precepts; samddhi; wisdom. 

six sense organs: The eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. 

six supernatural powers: Six transcendent faculties attributed to buddhas, bodhisattvas, 
and arhats — 1) the ability to go anywhere at will and to transform oneself or objects 
at will, 2) divine eyes capable of seeing anything at any distance, 3) divine ears 
capable of hearing any sound at any distance, 4) the ability to know others' thoughts, 
5) the ability to know one's former lives and those of others, and 6) the ability to destroy 
all evil passions. See also evil passions; three kinds of transcendent knowledge. 



121 



Glossary 



sixth heaven: The sixth heaven of the world of desire, i.e., the Heaven of Free Enjoy- 
ment of Manifestations by Others. See also Appendix, Buddhist Cosmology, p. 
103; Heaven of Free Enjoyment of Manifestations by Others; three worlds. 

skillful means (updya): The various expedient methods by which buddhas or bodhi- 
sattvas, out of their compassion, teach sentient beings according to their spiritual 
capacity and intelligence and guide them to enlightenment. See also bodhisattva; 
enlightenment. 

special qualities: The eighteen special qualities of a buddha — 1) absence of bodily 
imperfection, 2) unmistakable speech that guides human beings to enlightenment, 
3) perfect concentration, 4) nondiscriminative thought, 5) a perfectly settled mind, 
6) knowing and accepting all dharmas, 7) limitless desire to save all sentient beings, 
8) unceasing effort to save sentient beings, 9) spiritual communication with other 
buddhas, 10) omniscience, 11) complete liberation from all bondage, 12) com- 
plete knowledge of all aspects of liberation, 13) manifestation of excellent phys- 
ical forms to guide sentient beings to salvation, 14) employment of subtle words 
to teach sentient beings, 15) pure mental acts to teach sentient beings, 16) com- 
plete knowledge of the past lives of all beings, 17) complete knowledge of future 
events, and 18) complete knowledge of all events in the present. 

sprinkling the nectar: The Buddha sprinkles nectar on the heads of bodhisattvas upon 
their attainment of the tenth stage. See also bodhisattva stages. 

srdvaka ("word-hearer"): Originally, a disciple of the Buddha, one who heard him 
expound the teachings directly; later, the term came to refer to one of the two kinds 
of Hinayana sages, along with pratyekabuddhas; generally, a Hinayana practitioner. 
See also Hinayana; pratyekabuddha. 

SravastT: A kingdom in central India where the Jeta Grove donated by Anathapindada 
to the Buddha and his sangha was located, the present-day site of Sahetmahet in 
Gonda Province. At this place many Mahayana sutras were delivered by the Buddha, 
including the Smaller Sutra on Amitayus. See also Anathapindada; Mahayana. 

stage of becoming a buddha after one more life (eka-jati-pratibaddha): The stage of spir- 
itual development in which the practitioner has reached the highest bodhisattva stage 
and is destined to become a buddha in the next life. See also bodhisattva stages. 

stage of joy (pramudita): The first of the ten bodhisattva stages, attained by awakening 
undefiled wisdom. See also bodhisattva stages. 

stage of non-retrogression (avinivartamya): The stage in which a bodhisattva proceeds 
to highest enlightenment (anuttara-samyak-sambodhi) and will advance to Buddha- 
hood without regressing to lower stages. See also bodhisattva stages; definitely 
assured stage. 

stages of srdvakas and pratyekabuddhas: The stages of advanced Hinayana practice. See 
also Hinayana; pratyekabuddha; srdvaka. 



122 



Glossary 



stream-winner (srota-dpanna): The first of the four stages of spirtual attainment in the 
Hinayana; one who has entered the stream of the Dharma by abandoning various 
wrong views. See also Hinayana. 

stupa: A tomb mound or a shrine, sometimes containing relics of the Buddha. 

Subahu ("Having Well-developed Arms"): A disciple of the Buddha. 

suchness (tathatd): The state of things as they really are, thusness; ultimate truth. See 
also naturalness; ultimate truth. 

Suddharasmiprabha ("Brilliance of Pure Light"): The name of a buddha in the west. 

Suddhipanthaka: A disciple of the Buddha. 

Sumerukalpa ("Sumeru-like"): The name of a buddha in the zenith. 

sutra: Buddhist scriptures that contain the discourses of the Buddha. Capitalized, it refers 
to one of the three categories of the Buddhist canon, the Tripitaka. See also Tripitaka. 

Svagata ("Well-come"): A disciple of the Buddha. 

Tathagata ("Thus Come One"): One of the ten epithets for a Buddha, popularly con- 
strued as meaning "one who has come from thusness (suchness)." See also such- 
ness; ten epithets for a Buddha. 

ten directions: The four cardinal directions (north, east, south, west), the four interme- 
diate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest), plus the zenith 
and nadir. As a general term, it refers to the entire sphere of reality; everywhere. 

ten epithets for a buddha: 1) Tathagata, 2) Arhat, 3) Fully Enlightened One, 4) Posses- 
sor of Wisdom and Practice, 5) Well-gone One, 6) Knower of the World, 7) Unsur- 
passed One, 8) Tamer of Beings, 9) Teacher of Gods and Humans, and 10) Enlight- 
ened and World-honored One. 

ten evil deeds: The acts of killing, stealing, committing adultery, lying, uttering harsh 
words, uttering words that cause division among people, engaging in idle talk, greed, 
anger, and holding wrong views. 

ten good deeds: Not killing, not stealing, not committing adultery, not lying, not utter- 
ing harsh words, not uttering words that cause division among people, not engag- 
ing in idle talk, not being greedy, not being angry, and not holding wrong views. 

ten supernal powers: The powers attributed to a buddha, which confer perfect knowl- 
edge of 1) distinguishing right and wrong; 2) the karma of all sentient beings of the 
past, present, and future and its outcome; 3) all forms of meditation; 4) the supe- 
rior and inferior capacities of sentient beings; 5) the desires and thoughts of sen- 
tient beings; (6) the different levels of existence of sentient beings; 7) the results 
of various methods of practice; 8) the transmigratory states of all sentient beings 
and the courses of karma they follow; 9) the past lives of all sentient beings and 
the nirvanic state of nondefilement; and 10) how to destroy the evil passions. 



123 



Glossary 



three acts of merit: 1) Worldly meritorious acts, such as filial devotion, respectfully serv- 
ing one's teachers, and performing the ten good deeds; 2) meritorious acts per- 
formed in observing precepts, such as the five precepts; and 3) meritorious acts per- 
formed in practicing the Buddhist Way, such as believing in the law of causality 
and chanting the Mahayana sutras. See also five precepts; law of causality; 
Mahayana; ten good deeds; Way. 

three defilements: Greed or craving, anger or hatred, and ignorance or delusion, often 
referred to as the "three poisons." See also affliction. 

three distinct teachings: The teachings for bodhisattvas, pratyekabuddhas, and srdvakas, 
respectively. See also bodhisattva; pratyekabuddha; srdvaka. 

three evil realms: The three lowest of the five evil realms of samsaric existence — 1) the 
realm of animals, 2) the realm of hungry ghosts, and 3) the realm of hell. See also 
five evil realms; samsara. 

three grades of aspirants: The higher, middle, and lower grades of aspirants for birth in the 
Pure Land, as distinguished in the Larger Sutra. The higher grade are those who 
become monastics, perform meritorious deeds, and awaken aspiration for enlighten- 
ment by contemplating Amitabha; the middle grade are those who do only the first 
two of these acts; and the lower grade are those who do only the last. See also Amitabha; 
aspiration for enlightenment; Pure Land. 

three insights: Insights into the nature of dharmas: 1) insight into reality through hear- 
ing the sacred sound, 2) insight into reality by coming into accord with it, and 3) 
insight into the non-arising of all dharmas. See also insight into the non-arising of 
all dharmas. 

three kinds of faith: The three aspects of faith mentioned in the Contemplation Sutra 
that are necessary for birth in Amitabha's Pure Land — 1) sincere faith, 2) deep faith, 
and 3) faith that seeks birth in the Pure Land through transference of one's merit. 
See also Pure Land; transference of merit. 

three kinds of transcendent knowledge: Three kinds of knowledge attained by buddhas, 
bodhisattvas, and arhats — 1) knowledge of one's former lives and those of others, 2) 
knowledge of one's future and that of others, and 3) knowledge of the suffering of 
the present and the ability to remove its root cause, i.e., the evil passions. See also 
evil passions; six supernatural powers. 

three pains: The three kinds of pain experienced by human beings — 1) physical and men- 
tal pain caused by illness, hunger, thirst, etc.; 2) the pain of being separated from the 
objects of one's attachment; and 3) pain caused by various worldly vicissitudes. 

three periods: Past, present, and future. 

three realms of suffering. See three evil realms. 

three refuges: The Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha (i.e., the Three Treasures), in which 
Buddhists vow to take refuge. See also Three Treasures. 



124 



Glossary 



three supernatural faculties: The three special faculties attained by a buddha, bodhisattva, 
or arhat: 1) the faculty of knowing one's former lives and those of others, 2) the 
faculty of knowing one's future destiny and that of others, and 3) the faculty of 
knowing all the suffering of the present life and of removing its root cause, i.e., the 
evil passions. See also arhat; bodhisattva; evil passions. 

Three Treasures: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. See also three refuges. 

three worlds: The three categories of samsaric states of existence. They are: the world 
of desire (kdmadhdtu), this world of suffering in which beings are given to desire 
and attachment. There are six realms: the realm of devas, which has six heavens; 
the realm of asuras; the realm of human beings; the realm of animals; the realm of 
hungry ghosts; and the realm of hell, of which there are eight levels (see Appen- 
dix, Buddhist Cosmology, pp. 102-103). The world of form (rupadhdtu) is inhab- 
ited by those who have severed all desires but still experience the world as form; 
this world has four dhydna heavens (see Appendix, Buddhist Cosmology, pp. 
102-103). The world of non-form (drupyadhdtu) is inhabited by those who have 
severed all desires and attachment to form but have not yet attained enlightenment; 
this world has four levels (see Appendix, Buddhist Cosmology, p. 102). 

transference of merit: Transferring one's merit toward the attainment of buddhahood; 
transferring one's merit to other beings for their benefit. In Pure Land Buddhism, 
Amitabha Buddha transfers his merit to sentient beings to enable them to attain 
birth in his Pure Land. See also Amitabha; Pure Land. 

transmigration. See samsara. 

Tripitaka (lit., "three baskets"): The three divisions of the Buddhist canon, the Sutras 
(the Buddha's teachings), the Vinaya (the monastic code), and the Abhidharma 
(discourses on Buddhist teachings). 

Tripitaka Master: A monk who is well versed in the Buddhist scriptures. 

Tusita ("Contentment") Heaven: The fourth of the six heavens of the world of desire, in 
which the future buddha Maitreya now dwells preaching the Dharma to devas. See 
also Appendix, Buddhist Cosmology, p. 103; deva; Maitreya; three worlds. 

twelve divisions of the scriptures: The classical categorization of the twelve forms of 
Buddhist teachings — 1) the Buddha's exposition of the Dharma in prose (sutra), 
2) verses that repeat ideas expressed in prose (geya), 3) verses containing ideas not 
expressed in prose (gdthd), 4) narratives of the past that explain a person's present 
state (niddna), 5) narratives of the past lives of the Buddha's disciples (itivrttaka), 
6) narratives of the Buddha's past lives (jdtaka), 7) accounts of miracles performed 
by a buddha or deva (adblmta-dharma), 8) expositions of the Dharma through alle- 
gories (avaddna), 9) discussions of doctrine (upadesa), 10) expositions of the 
Dharma by the Buddha without awaiting questions or requests from his disciples 
(uddna), 1 1) extensive and detailed expositions of principles of truth (vaipulya), 
and 12) prophecies by the Buddha regarding his disciples' future attainment of 
buddhahood (vydkarana). 



125 



Glossary 



udumbara: A kind of fig tree that is said to bloom only once in three thousand years; 
used metaphorically to describe the rare appearance of a buddha. 

ultimate truth: The perception of the ultimate reality of things as they really are, true 
suchness, the state of enlightenment in which ultimate truth is apprehended; as 
opposed to relative or conventional truth, which is unenlightened perception of real- 
ity. See also enlightenment; naturalness; suchness. 

unconditioned nirvana: Ultimate truth or reality; the ultimate sphere of non-action; per- 
fect nirvana. See also nirvana; ultimate truth. 

universe of a thousand million worlds: One thousand worlds comprise a small one-thou- 
sand world, a thousand of these make a medium one-thousand world, and a thou- 
sand of these make a great one-thousand world. The universe of a great one-thou- 
sand world, i.e., of a thousand million worlds, comes under the care of one buddha. 

Uruvilvakasyapa ("Kasyapa of Uruvilva"): The eldest of the three Kasyapa brothers, who 
first engaged in Brahmanical fire worship but later converted to Buddhism with his 
five hundred disciples. 

VaidehT: The wife of King Bimbisara and mother of Ajatasatru. In her later years she and 
the king were imprisoned by their son. This tragedy in the royal family of Magadha 
is recounted in the Contemplation Sutra, in which VaidehT appeals to the Buddha to 
teach her the practices that will lead to birth in the Pure Land. See also Ajatasatru; 
Bimbisara. 

Vaisvanaranirghosa ("Universal Sound"): The name of a buddha in the north. 

Vajra-god: A kind of deva possessing enormous physical power. Images of a pair of 
such gods often flank the entrances to temples. 

Vakkula: A disciple of the Buddha. 

Vaspa ("Tears, Vapor"): Sometimes mentioned as one of the ten earliest disciples of the 
Buddha. 

Vedic scriptures: Refers to the four Vedas, the oldest Hindu scriptures. 

Vimala ("Free of Defilement"): A disciple of the Buddha. 

virtues of Samantabhadra: The meritorious practices, represented by Samantabhadra, 
that are performed by all bodhisattvas. See also Samantabhadra. 

visualization: A meditative practice involving an elaborate, extensive mental visualiza- 
tion of a specific object of devotion, such as a buddha, bodhisattva, or buddha land. 

Vulture Peak (Grdhrakuta): A mountain near Rajagrha, the capital of Magadha in the 
Buddha's time, where the Buddha delivered many important sutras, including the 
Larger Sutra. See also Magadha; Rajagrha. 

water possessing the eight excellent qualities: The water of the ponds in the Pure Land 



126 



Glossary 



has these eight qualities — it is pure, cool, smooth, sweet, moistening, comforting, 
thirst-quenching, and nourishing. See also Pure Land. 

Way: The ultimate state of enlightenment; bodhi; also refers to the Buddhist path. See 
also enlightenment. 

Well-gone One: One of the ten epithets for a buddha. See ten epithets for a buddha. 

Western Land: Amitabha's Pure Land. See also Amitabha; Pure Land. 

wheel of the Dharma: The Buddha-Dharma is compared to a wheel having eight spokes, 
which correspond to the Noble Eightfold Path, because 1) like the wheel of a wheel- 
turning monarch it crushes all evil, and 2) like a wheel in motion, it travels end- 
lessly to bring the Dharma to all sentient beings. See also Dharma; Noble Eight- 
fold Path; wheel-turning monarch. 

wheel-turning monarch (cakravartin): The ideal king, as conceived of in India, who rules 
the world with a special wheel (cakra) that flies through the air and destroys his 
enemies; said to possess seven treasures: the wheel, elephants, horses, gems, ladies, 
attendants, and generals. 

wisdom iprajna): Transcendental wisdom, enlightened insight. See also six pdramitds. 

World-honored One (Bhagavan): One of the ten epithets for a buddha. See ten epithets 
for a buddha. 

world of desire. See three worlds. 

world of form. See three worlds. 

yaksa: A flesh-eating demon; one of the eight kinds of superhuman beings that protect 
Buddhism. See also eight kinds of superhuman beings. 

Yama ("Well Regulated") Heaven: The third of the six heavens of the world of desire. 
See also Appendix, Buddhist Cosmology, p. 103; six heavens; three worlds. 

Yao-Qin dynasty (384-417): The Later Qin dynasty, ruled by the Yao family. 

Yasas ("Fame"): The name of a buddha in the nadir. 

Yasasprabha ("Light of Fame"): The name of a buddha in the south. 

Yasasprabhasa ("Brilliance of Fame"): The name of a buddha in the nadir. 

Yasodeva ("God of Fame"): A disciple of the Buddha. 

yojana: An Indian unit of distance, roughly equivalent to seven to nine miles, based on 
the distance the royal army could march in one day; one yojana is equivalent to 
forty //. See also li. 



127 



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the East, vol. 49, part 2, pp. 89-107. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1894; New York: 
Dover Publications, 1969. 

Pauer, Gabriele, trans. Russian translation. Bukkyo bunka kenkyusho kiyo (Ryukoku Uni- 
versity), no. 31 (1992): 1-16. 

Peel, Shitoku A., trans. Amitdyus Sutra: De Leerrede over Boeddha Amitayus. Dutch 
translation. In Aldus heb ik gehoord. Antwerp, Netherlands: De Simpele Weg, 1991. 

Sie, Hiao-yuan, trans. O-mi-to king. Changsha, China: Commercial Press, 1941. 

Takahatake, Tamamichi, trans. The Sutra of the Buddha Amitdbha, pp. 1-14. Montreal: 
Centre Monchanin, 1979. 

Usami, Dsenken (Zenken), trans. Buddhas Kiirzere Rede iiber Amitayus. Berlin: n.p., 
1925. 

Utsuki, Nishu, trans. Buddha-Bhasita-Amitayuh-sutra (The Smaller Sukhavati-vyuha- 
sutra). Ryukoku Daigaku Ronshu, no. 257. Kyoto: 1924; Kyoto: Educational Depart- 
ment of the West Hongwanji, 1924; third revised edition. Kyoto: Publication Bureau 
of Buddhist Books, Hompa Hongwanji, 1941; reprinted in Selected Texts of Shin 
Buddhism, Buddhist Publication Series, no. 1. Kyoto: Hompa Hongwanji English 
Publication Bureau, 1953. 

Vergara, Kyojo Ananda, trans. Buddha Tells of the Infinite: Commentary by Seki Hozen. 
New York: American Buddhist Academy, 1973. 

Wong Mou-lam (Weng Mao-lin), trans. The Smaller Sukhavati-vyuha-sutra. Shanghai: 
n.p, 1932. 

Yamamoto, Kosho, trans. The Bussetsu Amidakyo: The Scripture of the Buddha s Ser- 
mon onAmita Buddha. In Shinshu Seiten, pp. 101-106. Honolulu: Honpa Hong- 
wanji Mission of Hawaii, 1955. 

Yma'izoumi (Imaizumi), et al, trans. "O-mi-to-king ou Soukhavati-vyouha-soutra. " 
Annales du Musee Guimet, Tome 2. Lyons and Paris: 1881. 



131 



Index 



Abandoning Enmity 8 
Ab has vara 102 
abode(s) 5,7,29 

Abode of Boundless Consciousness 102 
Abode of Boundless Space 102 
Abode of Neither Thought nor Non- 
thought 102 
Abode of Nothingness 102 
Abrha 102 

act(s) (see also deed) 5, 38, 43, 47, 48, 
49,80 

evil xxiii, 43, 45, 48, 49, 53, 54, 84 

foolish, unlawful, unruly 43, 48, 49 

good 28, 43, 47, 48, 49 

immoral, licentious, obscene xvii, 48, 
50 

of merit, meritorious xxiv, 15, 47, 51, 
60 

pure 68,99 

six, of accord and respect 40 

ten evil 85 

three xxiv, 68 
Adityasambhava 94, 101 
adornments 21, 27, 73, 91, 92 
affliction(s) 5, 1 1, 20, 22, 39, 41, 45, 46, 

48,50,51,52,54,67 
agate (see also jewels, seven kinds of) 

21,24,26,27,70 
Ajatasatru xviii, xxiv, 65, 66 
Ajita (see also Maitreya) 91 
Ajnatakaundinya 3 



Akanistha 102 

Aksobhya 93, 100, 101 

amber (see also jewels, seven kinds of) 

21,26,27,70 
Amida (see also Amitabha; Amitayus) 

xiii, 100 
Amida Sutra. See Smaller Sutra 
Amitabha xiii-xiv, xv, xxi, xxv, 92, 97, 
100 
land of xiii, xiv 
meditation on xiv 
Name of xiv, xxi 
worship of xiii, xiv 
Amitadhvaja 94, 101 
Amitaketu 93, 101 

Amitayus xiii, xv, xvi, xvii, xviii, xix, 
xx, xxi, xxii, xxiii, xxiv, xxv, 22, 23, 
25, 31-32, 33, 34, 37, 46, 56, 57, 58, 
59, 61, 67, 72, 73, 75, 76, 79, 80, 81, 
82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 91, 92, 93, 98, 99, 
100, 101 
body(ies) of (see also transformed 

bodies) 78,79 
image of. See image, of Amitayus 
land of (see also Pure Land) xxiv, 

xxv, 26, 29 
lifespan of xvi, xxi, xxii, 23 
light of xvii, xxi, xxii, 22, 57, 75, 80 
Name of (see also Name) xix, xxiii, 

xxiv, 45, 86, 98 
physical characteristics of (see also 
mark; physical characteristics) 75 
power(s) (see also ten powers) 25, 85 



133 



Index 



Amitayus (continued) 
virtue(s) of xvi, xxv, 31, 32, 93 
voice of 57, 98 

vows of (see also Forty-eight Vows; 
Original Vow) 25 
Amogharaja 3 
Anabhraka 102 

andgdmin. See stage, of non-returner 
Ananda xvi, xvii, xviii, xxi, xxv, 3, 7, 8, 
11, 12, 18, 19,21,22,23,24,25,26, 
27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 36, 37, 38, 40, 56, 
57, 62, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 
76, 77, 78, 79, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 
91 
AnantavTrya 101, 106 
Anathapindada's Garden 91 
anger (see also greed, anger, and igno- 
rance) xvii, 9,41, 44, 49 
Aniruddha 3, 91 

anuttara samyaksambodhi. See enlighten- 
ment, highest, perfect 
Apramana-abha 102 
Apramanasubha 102 
Arciskandha 94, 101 
arhat(s), arhatship xx, 53, 82, 83, 91, 92 
aspirants xxv, 32, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 93, 
98 
higher, highest grade of xvii, xix, xxii, 

xxv, 31,32,82 
lowest grade of xx-xxi, xxii, xxv, 32, 

85 
middle grade of xx, xxiii, 31, 32, 83 
nine categories of xix-xxi, 79-85 
three grades of 31-32 
aspiration(s) 11, 12, 14, 47, 61 

for birth in the Pure Land xxiii, xxvi 
for enlightenment xx, xxi, xxii, 5, 9, 
11, 14, 16,31,32,36,61,68,81, 
82, 84, 85, 86 
supernal 33, 98 
asuras 95, 103 



Asvajit 3 

Atapa 102 

attachment(s) 12, 13, 27, 38, 39, 40, 43, 

44, 50, 54 
Auspicious Kalpa 3 
Avalokitesvara xix, xxiii, xxiv, 34, 36, 72, 

74, 76-78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84, 85, 86 
AvaragodanTya 103 
Avici 103 
awakening (see also enlightenment) xxi, 

86 

B 

banner(s) 21, 29, 32, 37, 59, 69, 71 
Dharma 4, 40 
jeweled 72, 73, 99 
Banner of the Dharma. See Dharmadhvaja 
Banner of Wisdom 3 
Beautiful Peak 8 
Beautiful Voice. See Manjusvara 
beggar, beggarly xxii, 28, 29, 47 
benevolence 28, 45, 47, 52, 56, 75 
beryl (.see also jewels, seven kinds of) 

xix, 21,24,26, 27, 69, 70,91, 112 
Beryl Light of the Sun and Moon 8 
Best Fragrance. See Gandhottama 
Bhadrajit 3 
Bhadrapala 3 

bhiksu(s) (see also monk) 11, 12, 60, 62 
Bimbisara xviii, xxiv, 65, 67 
birth (.see also birth and death) 29, 37, 

46, 67, 78 
birth and death (.see also rebirth; sam- 

sara; transmigration) 10, 11, 15, 33, 

36, 39, 43, 44, 46, 53, 56, 70, 73, 74, 

77, 78, 84, 85, 86, 99 
birth in the Pure Land xvi, xix, xx, xxi, 

xxii, xxiii, xxiv, xxv, xxvi, 23, 31, 32, 

35,45,58,80-85,93,95 
in an embryonic state 58 
nine grades of xxv, 79-85 



134 



Index 



two types of xvii, xxiii 
within a lotus blossom, bud xvii, xxiv, 
85 
Black Rope. See Kalasutra 
bliss, blissful (see also joy) xvi, xvii, xxi, 
xxii, 27, 28, 29, 41, 43, 46, 49, 68, 83 
Bloom of Supernatural Power 3 
bodhi (see also enlightenment; Way) 7, 

97 
bodhicitta. See aspiration, for enlighten- 
ment; bodhi-mind 
bodhimanda. See enlightenment, seat of 
bodhi-mind (see also enlightenment, 

aspiration for) 100 
Bodhisattva (see also Buddha) 4, 5 
bodhisattva(s) (see also mahdsattva) 
xiv, xv, xvi, xvii, xviii, xix, xx, xxi, 
xxiii, xxiv, xxv, 3, 5, 6, 7, 12, 14, 15, 
16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 32, 
33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 57, 
58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 65, 74, 77, 78, 80, 
81,84,85,91,92, 100 
lay, sixteen 3 
light 36,57 
non-retrogressive 59 
path 3, 20, 34, 97 
practice(s) 15, 17,36,46 
stage(s) xvii, xx, 15, 84 
transformed xx, 75, 76 
two (see also Avalokitesvara; Maha- 
sthamaprapta) xix, xxiv, xxv, 36, 
72, 74, 79, 86, 100 
virtues xvi, xvii, xxii, xxiii, xxv, 38, 

39,40,41 
vows 3, 34, 35 
bodhi tree xxii, 4, 25 
body(ies) (see also transformed body) 
16, 26, 27, 28, 29, 36, 39, 42, 49, 51, 
53,55,80,81,99 
of Amitayus 32, 33, 57, 75, 78 
of Avalokitesvara 76, 78, 84 



of bodhisattvas 80 
of Buddha, buddhas, World-honored 
One 4, 7, 30, 75, 80, 82, 84, 100 
cosmic 73, 99 
of Dharmakara 21 
Dharma-realm 99 
of Mahasthamaprapta 77, 78, 84 
ofNarayana 15 
ofRatnaketu 99 
of Vaidehl 65, 78 
Boundless Light. See Mahasthamaprapta 
Brahma 4, 20, 66 

king 21,70 
Brahmaghosa 94, 102 
Brahma Heaven 39 
brahman 20 
Brahmaparisadya 102 
Brahmapurohita 102 
Brahma's Voice. See Brahmaghosa 
Brhatphala 102 
Brightness of the Moon 8 
Brilliance of Fame. See Yasasprabhasa 
Brilliance of Pure Light. See Suddha- 

rasmiprabha 
Brilliant Like Mount Sumeru 8 
Buddha (see also Amitayus; Sakyamuni; 
Tathagata; World-honored One) xv, 
xvi, xvii, xviii, xix, xx, xxi, xxii, xxiv, 
3,4,7,9,11, 12,19,21,22,23,24, 
26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 
37, 38, 41, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 5 1, 
52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 
62, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 
74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 
84, 85, 86, 87, 91, 92, 95, 98, 99, 100 
activities of 71, 73, 78 
and Ananda 7-8, 11-12, 18, 19-20, 
21-24, 26-30, 31-32, 36^11, 
56-58, 68, 69-72, 73-86 
body 81,82, 100 
image(s) 74, 99, 100 



135 



Index 



Buddha {continued) 
discourse 86 
and Maitreya 41-45, 46-47, 54-56, 

57, 58-62 
marks, physical characteristics 76, 77, 

100 
path 39 

power xviii, 37, 68 
and Sariputra 91-95 
teachings 55, 80, 86 
and Vaidehl xviii, 66-86 
wisdom xvii, 36, 58, 59 
buddha(s) xiii, xiv, xv, xvi, xvii, xix, 
xxi, xxii, xxiii, xxv, xxvi, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 
9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19,21, 
22, 23, 30, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40, 45, 46, 
47, 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 68, 73, 74, 
75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 86, 91, 
92,93,94,95,97, 100, 101 
bodies 30, 75 
eye 38 
image 74, 79 
fifty-three xvi, xxii 
light 22, 30, 85 
merit 6 
mind 75 

physical characteristics and marks 71 
transformed 32, 75, 76, 79, 80, 81, 84, 

85 
virtue(s) 37, 56, 95 
wisdom 58 
Buddha-Dharma 5, 38, 39 
Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha (see also 
Three Refuges; Three Treasures) 27, 
72, 84, 92 
buddha-garland samddhi 6 
buddhahood xvi, xxii, 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 
15, 16, 17, 18,21,23,25,76,80,81, 
100 
buddha land(s) (see also Pure Land) xvi, 
xvii, xviii, xxi, xxii, xxiv, 4, 5, 10, 11, 



12, 13, 14, 15,16, 17,20,21,22,23, 

25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 36-37, 38, 

47, 55, 57, 58, 59, 60, 67, 71, 78, 80, 

91,92,97,98,99, 102 
fourteen xxiv, 60, 98 
Buddha of Boundless Light (see also 

Amitayus) 22 
Buddha of Incomparable Light (see also 

Amitayus) 22 
Buddha of Inconceivable Light (see also 

Amitayus) 22 
Buddha of Ineffable Light (see also 

Amitayus) 22 
Buddha of Infinite Life (see also 

Amitayus) xiii, xv 
Buddha of Infinite Light (see also 

Amitabha) 22 
Buddha of Pure Light (see also Amitayus) 

22 
Buddha of the Light of Joy (see also 

Amitayus) 22 
Buddha of the Light of the King of 

Flame (see also Amitayus) 22 
Buddha of the Light of Wisdom (see also 

Amitayus) 22 
Buddha of the Light Outshining the Sun 

and Moon (see also Amitayus) 22 
Buddha of Unceasing Light (see also 

Amitayus) 22 
Buddha of Unhindered Light (see also 

Amitayus) 22 
buddha-recollection samddhi 75 
buddha tathagatas (see also Tathagata, 

tathagata) 11, 15, 31, 32, 56, 68, 73 
Buddhism xiii, xiv, xv 
Buddhist 32, 102 
canon, scriptures xiii, 61 
practices, teachings xxiv, 6, 16, 53 
Buddhists xiv 
Burning. See Tapana 



136 



Index 



cakravartin. See wheel-turning monarch 
Candraprabha 65 
Candrasuryapradlpa 93, 101 
Cao-Wei dynasty 1 
Caturmaharaja. See Heaven of the Four 

Kings 
Central Asia xiv, 63 
China xiv, 97 
Chinese xiii, xiv, 99 

language xiii, xiv, 1, 63, 89, 100 
Cloudless Heaven. See Anabhraka 
Color of the Moon 8 
compassion, compassionate (see also pity) 

xiii, 5, 7, 61 

great 6, 7, 27, 38, 39, 40, 75, 84, 85, 99 
concentration 17, 40 
Constant Endeavor 91 
contemplation(s) (see also meditation; 

samddhi; visualization) xvi, xix-xxi, 

40, 69-79, 82, 83, 85, 100 
correct 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 77, 

78, 79, 82, 83 
thirteen stages xviii, xix, 69-79 
Contemplation Sutra xiii, xiv, xvii-xxi, 

63-87, 97, 100 
coral (see also jewels, seven kinds of) 

21,24,26,27,70 
Crown of Mount Sumeru 8 
Crushing. See Samghata 
Cry of the Dragon 8 
crystal 24,26,67,70,91 

D 

ddna (see also giving; pdramitds) 10, 40 
death(s) (see also birth and death) xix, 
xx, xxi, 4, 13, 14, 16, 17, 28, 42, 43, 
44, 46, 53, 54, 58, 72, 75, 93 
deed(s) (see also act) 5, 46, 51, 54 
benevolent, good, meritorious, virtuous 



xix, 3, 14, 22, 28, 31, 32, 39, 43, 47, 
53,55,56,58,68,83,84 
evil, unruly 47, 51, 53 
worthy 46,48,50,51,52,54 
defilement(s) (see also five defilements, 
period of, world of) 5, 39, 46, 62, 67 
mental 27,46 
three 18,22,40 
definitely assured stage. See stage, 

definitely assured 
Deformed-eyed One. See Virupaksa 
deliverance (see also liberation) 43, 45, 

46,61 
demigod(s) 47,49,50,51 
demon(s) 39,45,50 
desire(s) (see also lust; world of desire) 
5, 14, 17, 20, 27, 44, 45, 46, 50, 54 
worldly 31,43 
deva(s) (see also gods; heavenly beings) 
4, 13,14, 15, 16, 17,18, 19,20,25, 
29, 31, 32, 33, 38, 41, 45, 46, 47, 55, 
56, 61, 66, 72, 76, 80, 86, 87, 91, 95, 
103 
Devadatta xviii, 65, 67 
dhdrani(s) 6,16,80 

dharma(s) (see also insight, into dharmas, 
the nature of dharmas, the non-arising 
of all dharmas) 6, 18, 16, 20, 21, 25, 
27, 34, 37, 39, 68, 75, 80, 81, 86, 100 
nature of 5, 6, 18, 34, 37, 38, 98 
one hundred 82, 84, 85 
Dharma (see also Buddha-Dharma; 
Right Dharma; True Dharma) xix, 
xxiii, xxv, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 1 1, 12, 15, 
19, 25, 27, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 46, 57, 
58, 60, 61, 65, 81, 82, 83, 84, 91, 92 
banner(s) 4,40 
drum(s) 4, 40 
eye 6,38,61 
gate 5, 33, 98 



137 



Index 



Dhartna (continued) 

gift 4, 40 

profound 32, 33, 39 

pure 5, 20, 39 

sound(s) 4,25,26,27,29 

storehouse, treasury 3, 6, 19 

thunder 4, 39 

treasury 3, 6 

wheel 4 

wonderful xvi, 27, 30, 37, 74, 78, 80, 
82,85 
Dharma (Buddha) 94, 101 
Dharmadhara 94, 102 
dharmadhdtu. See Dharma realm 
Dharmadhvaja 94, 102 
Dharmakara xvi, xxii, 9, 11-12, 18, 

19-21, 73, 83 
dharmakdya 99 
Dharma Prince. See ManjusrI 
Dharma realm 99 
Dhrtarastra 103 
dhydna (see also meditation; pdramitds) 

10, 40, 102 
diamond(s) 69,71,73,77 
DTpaiikara xvi, 8 

disciple(s) xv, xvi, xviii, xxii, 91, 92 
discrimination 38, 40, 41, 56 
Dispelling the Darkness of Ignorance 8 
divine 4 

ear 13 

eye 13, 15, 38, 68 

power(s) (see also supernatural power) 
15, 18,55 
doubt(s) xvii, xxiii, 22, 32, 39, 45, 46, 

47, 58, 59, 61 
Dragon Deva 8 
dragon spirits 20 
Dragon Subduing 60 
dream(s) 32, 34 
Duspradharsa 94, 101 
Dwelling in the Center 3 



Dwelling in the World 8 

E 

Earth Shaking 8 

effort(s) (see also pdramitds) 10, 36, 40, 

41,45 
eight abstinences (see also precepts, 

eight) 82,83 
eight kinds of superhuman beings 20 
eight pure breezes 69 
eight qualities 
of voice 34 
of water 26,71,72,91 
eighty secondary marks 74 
elder(s) 3,20,51,53,68,91 
eloquence 6, 15, 16, 39,40 
Emancipation 3 

emptiness 6, 27, 28, 36, 69, 71, 82 
Emptiness 3 
Encircling Adamantine Mountains 21, 

39,57 
Enlightened One (see also Buddha) 9, 

32,33 
enlightenment (see also awakening; 
bodhi) xxi, 3, 8, 11, 36, 37, 38, 43, 
68,92 
aspiration for xx, xxi, xxii, 5, 31, 36, 

68,85 
highest, perfect 4, 9, 11, 19, 20, 31, 

32,61,81,82,84,85,86,95 
perfect 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 34, 62 
seat of 4, 11,86 

seven practices leading to 38, 92 
enmity 20, 38, 42, 44, 49 
evil(s) xxiii, 5, 12, 43, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, 
52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 58, 65, 67, 68, 84, 
85,95, 100 
act(s), deed(s) (see also ten evil deeds) 

xxiii, 43, 45, 48, 49, 51, 53, 54, 84 
five xvii, xxiii, 47-54, 56 



138 



Index 



karma 28, 44, 48, 70, 72, 73, 74, 77, 

78, 84, 85, 86, 92, 99, 100 
passions 38, 39, 54, 68 
paths 19, 53 

realms xvii, 6, 13, 28, 37, 38, 41, 44, 
47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54,55, 
78, 85, 92 
evildoers xx, xxi, 48, 49, 50, 52, 53 
Exquisite Beryl Flower 8 
Extensively Heard. See Vaisravana 
eye(s) {see also buddha, eye; Dharma, 
eye) xix, 38, 45, 57, 69, 70, 74, 75, 
78,81,83 
divine 13, 15,38,68 
of equality 38 
mind's 67, 74, 75 
wisdom 19, 38 

F 

faith xiii, xiv, xvi, xvii, xxi, xxiii, 16, 
17,31,36,61,84,95 

in birth through merit transference 80 

deep xx, 79, 80 

resolute 58, 59 

sincere xix, 79 

three kinds of 79-80 
Fame. See Yasas 
Far-reaching Illumination 8, 60 
fear 10,39,42,51,53,55 
fearlessness 6, 27 
Fearlessness (Buddha) 60 
Fiery Origin 8 

fire 36, 39, 41, 48, 50, 51, 52, 54, 61 
first teaching assembly 23, 24 
five burnings 47-54, 56 
five defilements, period of, world of xxi, 

4,37,95 
five evils xvii, xxiii, 47-54, 56 
five good deeds 47-54 
five grave offenses 14, 3 1, 82, 85 
five powers. See power(s), five 



five precepts. See precept(s), five 

five sufferings 47-54, 56, 68 

five virtues 56 

Flame of Jewels 8 

Flaming Light 8 

Flaming Shoulder. See Arciskandha 

flower(s) (see also lotus blossoms, bud; 
lotus flower; mdnddrava flower; 
udumbara flower) xxi, xxii, xv, 19, 
21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 32, 37, 38, 
59, 62, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 77, 78, 82, 
83, 85, 92 
heavenly 33, 85 
jeweled (see also jeweled, blossoms, 

flowers) 78, 81 
throne (see also lotus seat) 73, 74 

Flower of Enlightenment 8 

Flower of Freedom 8 

former lives 13, 28, 29, 35, 37, 40, 45, 
47,51,59,67 

Forty-eight Vows xvi, xxii, 83 

four great continents, oceans 75, 103 

four groups of followers 46,57 

four kinds of offerings 21 

Four Noble Truths 82 

Fragrant Light. See Gandhaprabhasa 

Free of Defilement 8 

Free of Dust and Defilement 8 

fruit(s) 24,25,71 

Fujita, Kotatsu xiii 



Gandhaprabhasa 94, 102 

Gandhottama 94, 102 

Ganges River 10, 15, 22, 31, 32, 75, 76, 

93, 94, 97 
garuda 40 
gate(s) 6, 19 

Dharma 5, 33, 98 
Gavampati 3, 91 
Gayakasyapa 3 



139 



Index 



gem(s) (see also mam-gem) 21, 25, 73 
kimsuka- 73 

ocean-supporting wheel 25 
giving (see also pdramitds) 10, 40 
Glorious Light 8 
god(s) (see also deva; heavenly beings; 

Vajra god) xiii, 4, 7, 66, 91, 99 
gold, golden (see also jewels, seven 
kinds of; purple-gold) 13,21,24,26, 
27, 29, 39, 57, 59, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72, 
73,74,75,76,79,81,82,83,85,91 
Golden Beryl Luster 8 
Golden Light 78 
Golden River 4 
Gold Treasury 8 

good xvii, xxiii, 12, 29, 35, 39, 40, 41, 42, 
43, 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 
55,56,68 
act(s), deed(s) (see also five good 
deeds; ten good deeds) xx, 28, 31, 
39, 43, 45, 47, 48, 49, 53, 56, 83, 84 
friend(s) 6,36,86 
karma 40, 98 
men and women, people 49, 51, 53, 

83, 86, 93, 94, 95, 100 
realms 19, 53 
roots of 92, 93 

teacher xx, xxi, 61, 83, 84, 85 
thoughts 22, 53 
Great Brilliance. See Mahaprabhasa 
Great Burning. See Pratapana 
Great Fragrance 8 
Great Light. See Mahaprabha 
Great Sage (see also Buddha) 5, 7 
Great Shrieks. See Maharaurava 
Great Sumeru. See Mahameru 
Great Way (see also Way) 45 
greed, anger, and ignorance 9, 46, 49 
greed, greedy xvii, xviii, 18, 20, 42, 50, 

54 
Growing. See Virudhaka 



Guanyin. See Avalokitesvara 

H 

happiness (see also bliss; joy) 11, 16, 

17,29,38,43,53 
Harrison, Paul xiv 
Having a Body Adorned with a Jewel 
Flower. See Ratnakusumasampuspita- 
gatra 
heaven(s) xxii, 19, 22, 48, 49, 50, 51, 53 
highest, in the world of form 22 
six, sixth of the world of desire 21, 26, 

27, 29, 103 
third, in the world of desire 22 
Heaven Free of Trouble. See Abrha 
heavenly 3, 29, 74 
blossoms, flowers, lotuses 26, 33, 66, 

85 
crown 76, 77, 78 
jeweled banners 72, 99 
music 33, 37, 72, 91 
realm(s) 29,48,50,51,52,54 
heavenly being(s) (see also deva; god) 

xxii, 4, 7, 12,21,23,29 
Heaven of Contentment. See Tusita 

Heaven 
Heaven of Enjoyment of Pleasures Pro- 
vided by Themselves. See Nirmanarati 
Heaven of Excellent Observation. See 

Sudarsana 
Heaven of Excellent Viewing. See Sudrsa 
Heaven of Free Enjoyment of Manifesta- 
tions by Others 67,103 
Heaven of Good Time. See Yama Heaven 
Heaven of Great Brahma. See Mahabrah- 

man 
Heaven of Greater Fruits. See Brhatphala 
Heaven of Infinite Light. See Apramana- 

abha 
Heaven of Infinite Purity. See Apramana- 
subha 



140 



Index 



Heaven of Lesser Light. See Paritta-abha 
Heaven of Lesser Purity. See ParTtta- 

subha 
Heaven of Pure Abode 57 
Heaven of Supreme Light. See Abhasvara 
Heaven of the Councilors of Brahma. See 

Brahmaparisadya 
Heaven of the Four Kings 22, 103 
Heaven of the High Priests of Brahma. 

See Brahmapurohita 
Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods 22, 29, 

58, 103 
Heaven of Universal Purity. See Subha- 

krtsna 
Heaven without Affliction. See Atapa 
hell(s), hellish xx, xxi, 12, 21, 51, 67, 

84, 85, 103 
Heroic Stance 8 
Hero of Light 3 
Hero of Treasures 3 
Highest Heaven. See Akanistha 
Highest Peak 8 
Himalayas 39 
Hinayana 35 
Hindu xiii 

Holding the Dharma. See Dharmadhara 
"Homage to Amitayus Buddha" 84, 85 
Honen xiii 
Huiyuan 99 
hungry ghosts. See realm, of hungry 

ghosts 
hymn(s) 33, 37 

I 

ignorance (see also greed, anger, and 

ignorance) 19, 40 
illusion(s) 3,34,44,74 
image(s) 5, 16, 70, 72, 73, 74, 75, 100 

of Amitayus xix, xxiv, xxv, 79 

of Avalokitesvara 74 

of the Buddha 74,99, 100 



of Mahasthamaprapta 74 

of the Pure Land xiv 
Image of the Moon 8 
Immeasurable. See Aksobhya 
Immeasurable Banner. See Amitadhvaja 
Immeasurable Enlightened One (see also 

Amitayus; Buddha) 98 
Immeasurable Ensign. See Amitaketu 
Immeasurable Life. See Amitayus 
Immeasurable Sound 60 
Immovable. See Aksobhya 
Immovable Ground 8 
impermanence 4, 43, 69, 71, 82 
incense 21,27,32,33,37,59 
India xiii, xvi, xvii, xxi, 1 
Infinite Life. See Amitayus 
insight(s) 7, 8, 25, 49, 98, 100 

into dharmas, the nature of dharmas, the 
non-arising of all dharmas 5, 16, 18, 
25,27,37,68,75,80,81,86,100 

three 25 

two 37 
Interminable. See Avici 



Jalimprabha 94, 101 

Jambudvlpa 67, 103 

Jambu River 71, 72, 74, 75, 76 

Japan xiii, xiv, 97 

Japanese language xiii 

Jeta Grove 91 

Jewel Banner (see also Ratnaketu) 99, 

101 
jeweled xix, 4, 25, 29, 47, 72, 74, 77, 78 
banners 72,73,99 
blossoms, flowers, lotus flowers (see 
also seven-jeweled, lotus flowers) 
70,78,79,81,84 
canopy(ies) 71, 73 
ground (see also seven-jeweled, 
ground) 72 



141 



Index 



jeweled (continued) 

land(s) (see also seven-jeweled, lands) 

72,73 
nets 29, 74, 92 
ponds (see also seven-jeweled, ponds) 

26, 72, 74, 83, 84 
trees (see also seven-jeweled, trees) 
xix, xxii, xxiv, 17, 24, 25, 29, 37, 
70,71,72,74,80,92 
jewels (see also gem) xix, 91 

seven kinds of 21, 24, 26, 27, 59, 67, 
69,71,73,76,99 
Jewel Storehouse 60 
Jingying Temple 99 
JTvaka 65, 66 
jivatnjivakas 92 
Jizang 99 

joy (see also bliss) 7, 8, 1 1, 22, 38, 40, 
45,46,61 
great 33, 36 
immeasurable 27, 37 
stage of. See stage, of joy 

K 

Kalasutra 103 
kalavihkas 92 
Kalayasas 63, 99 
Kalodayin 91 

kalpa(s) xvi, xx, 7, 12, 13, 14, 21, 23, 
24, 36, 41, 44, 46, 49, 50, 52, 54, 60, 
61,70,73,83,84,85,92,99 
immeasurable 18, 78 
innumerable 8, 20, 23, 46, 72, 75, 77, 

86,92 
smaller xx, 81, 82, 83, 84 
twelve great xxi, 85 
Kapphina 3 

karma (see also karmic) xxi, xxiii, 22, 43, 
48, 53, 54 

bad, evil 28, 44, 48, 67, 70, 72, 73, 74, 
77, 78, 84, 85, 86, 92, 99, 100 



good 40, 98 

law of (see also law of causality) xx, 
42, 43, 54 

natural working(s) of 48, 49, 50, 51, 
52,54 

pure 68 
karmic 80,81 

burdens, hindrances 6, 77 

consequences, results, retribution(s) 
xiii, 28, 43, 53 

perfection 67, 99 

relations, relationship 67, 77 

reward(s) xxii, 22 
killing 68,80 
Kimpila 3 

king(s), kingdom xvi, xviii, xxii, 4, 9, 
20, 26, 28, 29, 39-40, 59, 65, 66, 67 

Brahma, of the Brahma Heaven 2 1 , 
39,70 

of jewels, mani-gem 25,71,73 
King of Beautiful Mountains 8 
King of Humans 60 
King of Light 78 
King of Stars. See Naksatraraja 
King of the Colors of Flowers 8 
King of the Dharma (see also Buddha) 

10,45 
knowledge (see also wisdom) 6, 33, 36 

of liberation 85 

transcendent 38,40,82 
Korea xiv 
ksdnti (see also pdramitds; patience) 10, 

40 
ksatriya 20, 66 
Kucha 89 
Kumarajlva 89 
Kuru 103 
Kyogyoshinsho: On Teaching, Practice, 

Faith, and Enlightenment 99 



142 



Index 



Lamp of the Sun and Moon. See Candra- 

suryapradlpa 
Land of Bliss (see also Pure Land) xiii 
Land of Peace and Bliss (see also "Peace 

and Bliss"; Pure Land) 45, 57 
Land of Peace and Provision (see also 

Pure Land) 34,35,41 
Land of Utmost Bliss (see also Pure 

Land) xiii, xxi, xxv, 67, 68, 70, 71, 

72, 73, 74, 78, 79, 81, 82, 83, 85, 86, 

91,92,93 
Larger Sukhavativyuha-sutra. See Larger 

Sutra 
Larger Sutra xiii, xiv, xvi-xvii, 

xxii-xxiv, 1-62 
Larger Sutra on Amitayus. See Larger 

Sutra 
law of causality (see also karma, law of) 

42,68 
lay bodhisattvas, sixteen 3 
lay devotee(s), followers xiv, 20 
liberation xiii, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 22, 45, 46, 

47,48,50,51,52,53,54,55,70,85 
eight samddhis of 82 
path of 6, 55 
"pure," samadhi of 17 
lifespan(s) xvi, 12, 14, 23, 48, 50, 95 
Light of Fame. See Yasaprabha 
Limitless Effort. See AnantavTrya 
Lion. See Simha 
Liu-Song dynasty 63 
Lokesvararaja xvi, xxii, 8, 9, 11, 12, 19 
Lord King of the Sala Tree. See Salendra- 

raja 
lotus blossoms, bud(s) xiv, xvii, xx, 59, 

78, 82, 83, 84, 85 
lotus flower(s) xv, xvii, xxi, xxii, 39, 67, 

72,73,74,76,78,82,83,91 
dark blue, blue 21,26,30 
golden xxi, 81,82, 85 



green 30 

jeweled, of a hundredjewels, of vari- 
ous jewels, seven-jeweled 30,31, 
58,66,71,78,79,81,83,84 
pink 26 
purple 30 
red 30, 76 
white 26, 86 
yellow 26, 30 
lotus seat(s), throne xix, xxiv, 73, 78, 

81, 100 
Lotus Sutra 99 
lust (see also desire) 46, 50 

M 

Magadha xvi, xvii, xxiv 

magic, magical, magician 5, 20, 65 

Mahabrahman 102 

Mahacunda 3 

Mahakapphina 91 

Mahakasyapa 3, 91 

Mahakatyayana 3,91 

Mahakausthila 3, 91 

Mahamaudgalyayana 3, 23, 24, 65, 66, 

86,91 
Mahameru 93, 101 
Mahanama 3 
Mahaprabha 94, 101 
Mahaprabhasa 94, 101 
Maharaurava 103 
Maharciskandha 93,94, 101, 102 
mahdsatt\>a(s) 7,60,72,86,91 
Mahasthamaprapta xix, xxiii, xxiv, 36, 72, 

74, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84, 85, 86 
Mahavyutpatti 97 
Mahayana xiii, xiv, xix, xx, xxi, 3, 58, 

68,80,81,84,85,97 
Maitreya xvii, xxiii, 3, 41, 45, 46, 47, 

54,55,56,57,58,59,60,61,62 
Majestic Glory 8 
mdndarava flowers 9 1 



143 



Index 



mam'-gem(s) 9, 71, 73, 77 
brahma- 73 
moonbright 25, 26 
sakra-abhilagna- 70, 73, 76 
wish-fulfilling king 71 
Manjusrl 3, 65,91 
Manjusvara 93, 101 
Mara 4, 5, 6, 20 

mark(s) (see also physical characteris- 
tics) 21, 30, 32, 40, 42, 71, 75, 77, 82 
secondary 74, 75 
of a thousand-spoke wheel 77 
meditation(s) (see also contemplation; 
dhydna; pdramitds; samddhi) xiv, 6, 
8, 9, 10, 38, 40, 74, 79, 85, 100 
thirteen (see also contemplation, thir- 
teen stages) xxiv-xxv 
merit(s) xvii, xx, xxiv, 5, 6, 15, 19, 20, 
21, 31, 32, 36, 37, 40, 43, 45, 46, 47, 
48, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 60, 77, 79, 80, 
86,98 
store(s) of 15, 17, 20, 28, 33, 34, 51, 

58,81,93 
transference of 14, 31, 32, 58, 80, 81, 
82, 83, 98 
meritorious act(s), deed(s) xix, 3, 14, 15, 

22,31,32,47,51,58 
meritorious practices xvi, 20, 31, 59 
Merit-possessing Wisdom 8 
Merit-producing Heaven. See Punya- 

prasava 
Merudhvaja 93, 101 
Meruprabhasa 93, 101 
MerupradTpa 93, 101 
mindful, mindfulness 18, 40, 55 
of Amitayus, buddha, Buddha xvi, 

xix, 75, 85, 86, 92 
of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha 72, 92 
six forms of 80 
Ming dynasty 98 
ministers) 49, 65, 66 



Miraculous Power of the Ocean of 

Enlightenment 8 
monk(s) (see also bhiksu) xiv, xvi, xviii, 

xxi, 3, 9, 17, 30, 31, 65, 80, 82, 83, 

84,91,95 
moon(s) 9, 19, 30, 39, 50, 51, 56, 69, 70 
moonbright mam-gems, pearl 25, 26, 27 
Moonlight 8 

Moonlight on the Water 8 
moral, morality (see also pdramitds; 

precept; sfla) xxiii, 9, 10, 40, 44, 48, 

52,55 
Most Honored One (see also Buddha) 

19,33 
Mountain of Excellent Virtue 60 
Mount Sumeru 21, 22, 57, 67, 73, 75 
Miiller, Max 97 
music 19, 25, 26, 37, 38, 59, 62, 99 

heavenly 33,72,91 
musical instruments 38, 69, 72, 92, 99 

N 

Nadikasyapa 3 

Nagarjuna xiii 

ndgas 87 

Naksatraraja 102 

Name(s) xiv, xvi, xxi, xxiv, 14, 16, 17, 

18, 31, 35, 45, 61, 84, 85, 86, 93, 97, 

98, 100 
Na-mo-o-mi-tuo-fo. See "Homage to 

Amitayus Buddha" 
Nanda 3,91 
naraka. See hell, hellish 
Narayana 15 
nembutsu xiv, xix 
Net Light. See Jalimprabha 
nian-fo. See nembutsu 
Nirmanarati 103 
nirvana xvii, 5, 6, 8, 11, 13, 19, 21, 23, 

31, 45, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 

61, 102 



144 



Index 



Noble Eightfold Path 92 

Nocturnal Light 8 

non-arising of all dharmas 16, 25, 27, 

37,68,75,80,81,86, 100 
nonattachment 56 
Nonattachment 8 
non-Buddhists 39,40 
non-desire, samddhi of 6, 40 
non-form 

samddhi of 6, 40 

world of 102 
non-Pure Land masters, schools 99, 100 
non-retrogression, stage of 18, 25, 31, 

32,35,61,62,81,93,94,95 
non-retrogressive bodhisattvas 59, 60 
non-returner, stage of 61, 67 
no-self 27,69,71,82 
Not to Be Assailed. See Duspradharsa 
novice 83 

Numata, Dr. Yehan xiv 
nun(s) xiv, 83, 84 
nyagrodha tree 39 

o 

offense(s) (see also transgression) xvii, 
xx, xxi, xxiv, 48, 49, 50, 51, 59 
five grave 14,31,82,85 

offerings xviii, 5, 10, 15, 17, 19, 32, 33, 
37,38,58,59,60,82,92,97 
four kinds of 2 1 

O-mi-tuo fo. See Amitayus 

One Most Honored in Heaven (see also 
Buddha) 7 

Original Vow(s) 25, 35, 73, 79 

Outshining the Sun and Moon 8 



pain(s), painful (see also suffering) 5, 6, 
1 1, 25, 28, 42, 43, 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, 
51,52,53,54,55,85,91 



palace(s) 4, 5, 16, 26, 27, 29, 58, 59, 65, 
66, 67, 70, 73, 99 
heavenly 3 

seven-jeweled 47, 57, 80 
pdramitd(s) 20,27,40,61,71 
Paranirmitavasavartin. See Heaven of 
Free Enjoyment of Manifestations by 
Others 
Parayanika 3 
Parltta-abha 102 
Parlttasubha 102 

passion(s) xvii, 5, 6, 17, 29, 40, 44, 45, 
50,95 
evil 38, 39, 54, 68 
path(s) 20, 39, 40, 43, 46, 55, 69 
bodhisattva 3,20,34,97 
evil, to the three evil realms 6, 19, 53 
of liberation 6,53,55 
of the Buddha 30,32,39 
patience (see also pdramitds) 10, 40 
pavilions 16,26,29,69,72,91 
peace, peaceful 10, 11, 16, 27,40, 41, 

52, 56, 65 
"Peace and Bliss" (see also Land of 

Peace and Bliss) 21,27 
Peaceful and Brilliant Peak 8 
Peak of Virtue 60 
pearl(s) 26,29,70,73,91 
moonbright 27 
nets 70,73 
perception 70, 72, 74, 76, 99 
physical characteristics (see also mark) 
xvii, 21, 30, 32,40, 71,75, 76,77, 
78, 79, 80, 82 
thirty-two 14, 37, 74, 100 
Pindola-Bharadvaja 91 
pity (see also compassion) 11, 56, 61, 

65,67 
pond(s) xix, xxiv, 16, 26, 71, 79, 91, 99 
jeweled, seven-jeweled 26, 72, 74, 81, 
82, 83, 84, 85, 91 



145 



Index 



Possessed of Great Power (see also Maha- 

sthamaprapta) 78 
power(s) xx, 8, 10, 20, 21, 22, 27, 37, 
40, 54, 59, 68, 72, 77, 98 

divine 15, 18, 55 

five 92 

majestic 23, 25, 87 

of the Original Vow 25, 35, 73, 79 

spiritual xvii, 68 

supernatural xviii, 3, 13, 27, 28, 31, 
33, 34, 37, 38, 40, 79, 82 

ten 27, 85 

of wisdom 4, 23 
practice(s) xiv, xxv, 3, 5, 6, 11, 15, 16, 20, 
27, 31, 32, 40, 45, 53, 60, 61, 80, 97 

ascetic 4 

bodhisattva xxii, 15, 17, 36, 46 

meritorious 20, 31, 59 

sacred 16, 18 

seven, leading to enlightenment 38, 92 
Practice of Removing Hindrances 8 
Practice of Restraint 3 
"Praise of the Inconceivable Virtue and 
Protection by All Buddhas" (see also 
Smaller Sutra) xxvi, 93, 94 
prajnd (see also pdramitds; wisdom) 10, 

40 
Pratapana 103 

pratyekabuddha(s) 6, 14, 23, 40 
Pratyutpanna Samddhi Sutra xiv, 98, 100 
precepts (see also moral, morality) xx, 
35, 45, 55, 68, 80, 82, 83, 85 

of abstinence 31, 55 

complete, of a monk or nun 83, 84 

eight 65, 84 

five xx, 82, 84 
predictions) 5,34,76,80,81 
Profound Thought 3 
Protector of the State. See Dhrtarastra 
Punyaprasava 102 
Pure Faith 8 



Pure Land xiv, xvi, xvii, xviii, xix, xx, 
xxi, xxii, xxiii, xxiv, 32, 33, 34, 37, 
41,46,47,57,58,70,80,92 

Pure Land Buddhism, school xiii, xiv, 
xv, 97, 100 
masters xiv 
sutras xiii, xiv, xv 

"Purification and Elimination of Karmic 
Hindrances for Attaining Birth in the 
Presence of All Buddhas" (see also 
Contemplation Sutra) 86 

Puma 65 

Purnaka 3 

Purnamaitrayamputra 3 

purple, purple-gold (see also gold, golden) 
24,26,30,66,76,77,81 

Purvavideha 103 

Q 

quality(ies) 11, 27 
eight, of voice 34 
eight excellent, of water 26, 71, 72, 91 

R 

Rahula 3,91 

Rajagrha xvi, 3, 65 

Ratnaketu 94,99, 101 

Ratnakusumasampuspitagatra 94, 102 

RatnotpalasrI 94, 102 

Raurava 103 

realm(s) 26, 43, 48, 50, 92, 99, 103 

of animals 12, 21,67, 103 

Dharma 99 

evil xvii, 6, 28, 37, 38, 44, 47, 49, 51, 
53, 54, 85 

of fighting spirits 103 

five, five evil 41, 46, 53, 76 

of the gods, heavenly 29, 48, 50, 51, 
52, 54, 103 

good 19,53 

hellish 51 



146 



Index 



of hungry ghosts 12, 21, 67 103 

Mara's 5 

of purity 34 

of samsara xiii, xvii, 46, 53, 76 

three, three evil 6, 22, 26, 48, 49, 50, 
52, 54, 55, 78, 92 

of unconditioned nirvana 28 
rebirth (see also birth and death) 28, 37, 

57 
remorse 53, 84 
retribution(s) xxi, 28, 43, 47, 48, 51, 53, 

54, 58, 92 
Revata 3,91 
Revered Ones 1 1 
Revival. See SamjTva 
reward(s) 22, 43, 48, 53 

forvirtue(s) 28,29,58 
Right Dharma 35, 38 

abuse of 14, 31 
Right Recollection 8 
Roar of the Lion 8 
ruby (see also jewels, seven kinds of) 

21,24,26,27 
rules of conduct (see also precepts) 58, 
68,83 



sage(s) xvi, xix, xx, xxi, 3, 10, 14, 24, 
31, 32, 35, 45, 48, 53, 55, 81, 93, 97 
Sage (see also Buddha; Great Sage) 35 
Saha (world) xvii, 95, 98 
Sakra 4,66,71,91 
Sakyamuni xvi, xvii, xviii, xxi, xxiii, 

xxiv, xxvi, 57, 66, 72, 76, 98, 99, 100 
Salendraraja 94, 102 
samddhi(s) (see also meditation) xiv, xvi, 
xix, 5, 6, 20, 39, 40, 67, 70, 81, 86 
of being in the presence of all the 

buddhas 86 
buddha-garland 6 



buddha-recollection, of mindfulness of 

the Buddha xix, 75 
eight, of liberation 82 
of emptiness, non-form, and non-desire 

6,40 
of extinction 30 
nembutsu xix 

of non-arising and non-perishing 40 
"pure liberation" 17 
"universal equality" 17 
Samantabhadra 3, 15 
Samghata 103 
Samghavarman 1 
SamjTva 103 

samsara (see also birth and death) xiv, 
xvii, 41, 43, 46, 48, 55 
realm(s) of xiii, 46, 53, 76 
sandalwood 2 1 , 26 
Sandalwood Incense 8 
sangha xviii, xx, 53, 84 
Sangha (see also Buddha, Dharma, and 

Sangha) 27 
Sanskrit xiii, xv, 97, 98, 100 
sapphire 70, 91 
Sariputra xxi, 3, 91-95 
saris 92 

Sarvarthadarsa 94, 102 
scripture(s) (see also sutra; Vedic scrip- 
tures) xiii, 46, 55, 61, 84 
twelve divisions of 78-79, 84 
sense(s), sense organs xxi, 4, 7, 8, 17, 

25, 27, 29, 37, 98 
sentient beings xxi, 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 
16, 20, 22, 23, 31, 36, 37, 46, 57, 58, 
61, 68, 69, 72, 73, 75, 76, 77, 79, 80, 
82, 83, 84, 85, 93, 94, 95, 99 
seven-jeweled 37, 74 
ground (see also jeweled, ground) 72, 

74 
lands (see also jeweled, land) 78 



147 



Index 



lotus flowers (see also jeweled, blos- 
soms, flowers) 31,58,81,83 
palace(s) 57, 80 
ponds (see also jeweled, ponds) 81, 

82,85,91 
trees (see also jeweled, trees) 24, 26 
Shandao xvii, 99, 100 
Shinran 98, 99, 100 
Shizhi. See Mahasthamaprapta 
Shoulders of Great Flame. See Maharci- 

skandha 
Shrieks. See Raurava 
sila (see also moral, morality; pdramitds; 

precept) 10, 40 
silken canopies 21, 29, 37, 59, 98 
silver (see also jewels, seven kinds of) 

21,24,26,27,91 
Simha 60,94, 101 

sincere, sincerely, sincerity 11, 12, 14, 
23, 28, 31, 32, 38, 45, 46, 48, 51, 54, 
55, 57, 58, 79, 85, 98 
skillful means 3, 39, 40 
Smaller SukhdvatTvyuha-sutra. See 

Smaller Sutra 
Smaller Sutra xiii, xv, xxi, xxv-xxvi, 

89-95, 100, 101 
Smaller Sutra on Amitdyus. See Smaller 

Sutra 
Song dynasty 97 
sorrow, sorrowful 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 50, 

55, 66, 67 
Sound of the Sun 8 
spirits 20, 103 

spiritual xiv, xix, xx, xxi, 6, 67 
benefits xvii, xx 
bliss xvi, xxi 
powers xvii, 68 
Splendid Flower 60 

sravaka(s) xxii, 6, 14, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 
29, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, 57, 58, 
62, 80, 92 



SravastI xxi, 91 

srota-dpanna. See stage, of stream-winner 

stage(s) xx, 6 

of becoming a buddha after one more 
life 15,36,93 

bodhisattva xvii, xx, 15, 84, 100 

definitely assured 13 

of joy 82 

of non-retrogression xvi, xx, xxi, 18, 
25, 31, 32, 35, 61, 62, 81, 93, 94, 95 

of non-returner 61, 67 

of srdvakas and pratyekabuddh as 6, 40 

of stream-winner xx, 83 
state(s) xix, 28, 43,48 

embryonic 57, 58 

of existence xvii, 28, 29, 42, 43, 53 

painful, of pain 6, 1 1, 43, 49 

of samddhi xix, 70 
Storehouse of Good 8 
Storehouse of the Dharma. See Dharma- 

kara 
stream-winner. See stage, of stream- 
winner 
stupas 32 

stupidity (see also ignorance) xviii, 20, 54 
Subahu 3 
Subhakrtsna 102 
suchness 39,85,99 
Sudarsana 103 
Suddharasmiprabha 94, 101 
Suddhipanthaka 91 
Sudrsa 102 

suffering(s) xvii, xxi, xxiii, 6, 28, 44, 45, 
48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54, 56, 69, 70, 72, 
82 

five 47-54, 56, 68 

realms, three realms of 22, 27, 43 
SukhavatT. See Land of Utmost Bliss 
Sumeru Banner. See Merudhvaja 
Sumerukalpa 94 
Sumeru Lamp. See MerupradTpa 



148 



Index 



Sumeru Light. See Meruprabhasa 

Sumeru-like. See Sumerukalpa 

sun(s) xxiv, 9, 19, 30, 39, 50, 51, 56, 69, 

70,85 
of wisdom 33, 40 
Sunlight 8 

Sunrise. See Adityasambhava 
Superior Power 60 
Superior Wisdom 3 
supernatural power(s) xviii, 3, 13, 27, 

28,31,33,34,37,38,40,79,82 
Supreme Beryl Light 8 
sutra(s) (see also scripture) xiii, xiv, xvi, 

xvii, xviii, xxi, xxiv, xxvi, 5, 6, 15, 

35, 45, 61, 62, 68, 74, 80, 84, 86, 93, 

94, 95, 100 
Mahayana xx, 68, 80, 84, 85 
Pure Land, three xiii, xiv, xv, xvi, xxii 
"Sutra of Protection by All Buddhas." 

See Smaller Sutra 
Sutra on Amitdyus Buddha. See Smaller 

Sutra 
Sutra on Contemplation of Amitdyus. See 

Contemplation Sutra 
Sutra on Maitreya 's Ascent to the Tusita 

Heaven 99 
Sutra on the Buddha of Infinite Life. See 

Larger Sutra 
Sutra on Visualization of the Buddha of 

Infinite Life. See Contemplation Sutra 
Suyama. See Yama Heaven 
Svagata 3 
Sweet-smelling Elephant 3, 91 



Taisho Tripitaka xiii, xxii, 97, 98, 99, 100 

Tang dynasty 97, 98 

Tanluan 97, 99, 100 

Tapana 103 

Taste of Nectar 60 

Tathagata(s), tathagata(s) (see also 



buddha tathagatas) 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 17, 

35, 56, 59, 61, 66, 68, 74, 79, 80, 99 
ten evil acts 85 
ten good deeds 68 
ten powers 27, 85 
three evil realms 6, 13, 48, 49, 50, 52, 

54,55,78,92 
Three Pure Land Sutras: A Study and 

Translation, The xv 
Three Refuges (see also Buddha, Dharma, 

and Sangha) 68 
Three Treasures (see also Buddha, 

Dharma, and Sangha) 20, 27, 59, 84 
three world(s) (see also world of desire; 

world of form) 7, 19, 38, 46 
Tibetan 98 

tranquil, tranquility 6, 20, 27, 38, 39 
Tranquil Ability 3 

transformation, birth by xvii, 31, 36, 58 
transformed 58 
bodhisattva(s) xx, 75, 76 
body(ies) xx, 5, 32, 79, 84 
buddha(s) 32, 75, 76, 79, 80, 81, 84, 85 
transgression(s) (see also offense) xx, 

51,82 
transmigration(s) (see also birth and 

death; rebirth) 43, 48 
Trayastrimsa. See Heaven of the Thirty- 
three Gods 
Tripitaka 1,63,89 
True Dharma 3 
truth(s) (see also Four Noble Truths) 6, 

11,38,43,45,46,93,94 
of suffering, emptiness, impermanence, 
and no-self 69,71,82 
Tusita Heaven 3, 99, 103 

u 

udumbara flower 7, 39 
Uigur 99 
Undefiled Light 60 



149 



Index 



Universal Sound. See Vaisvanaranirghosa 
universe(s) 75 

of a thousand million worlds 10, 14, 
19,36,37,61,62,71,75,93,94 
Unsurpassed One {see also Buddha) 33 
Uruvilvakasyapa 3 
Uttarakuru 103 



Vaidehi xviii, xix, xxi, 65-66, 67-73, 

75-79, 82, 83-86, 100 
Vaisravana 103 
Vaisvanaranirghosa 94, 101 
Vajragod 15 
vajra seat 80 
Vakkula 3, 91 
Vaspa 3 
Vasubandbu xiii 
Vedic scriptures 66, 99 
Videhas 103 
Vietnam xiv 
view(s), viewpoint 43, 95, 97, 100 

wrong 5, 43, 45, 55 
Vimala 3 

virtue(s) 5, 6, 10, 19, 23, 27, 28, 29, 32, 
41, 47, 48, 50, 51, 52, 54, 55, 56, 58, 
59,61,62,72,83,93 

of Amitayus xx, 23, 31, 32, 33, 85, 93 

of bodhisattvas xxii, xxiii, xvi, xvii, 
xxv, 38, 39, 40, 41 

of buddha(s), Buddha, Tathagata 7, 9, 
37, 45, 56, 95 

of Dharmakara 20 

five 56 

of Sakyamuni xxvi, 95 

of Samantabhadra 3, 15 

roots of 6, 14, 19, 28, 39, 46, 49, 54, 55 
virtuous 31,48,51,54,55,83 
Virudhaka 103 
Virupaksa 103 
virya (see also effort; pdramitds) 10, 40 



visualization (see also contemplation) 

xiv, xix, 67-79 
"Visualization of the Land of Utmost 
Bliss of Buddha Amitayus and of 
Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and 
Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta" (see 
also Contemplation Sutra) 86 
Voice of the Phoenix 8 
vow(s) (see also Forty-eight Vows; 
Original Vow) 12,40 
of Amitayus 25 
of bodhisattvas 3, 12, 34, 35 
of Dharmakara xvi, 11, 12, 18, 19 
great 12, 15, 19, 36 
original 14, 15, 36 
universal 19, 62 
Vulture Peak xvi, xviii, xxi, xxv, 3, 65, 
66, 87, 99 

w 

Water Light 8 

water possessing eight excellent qualities 

xix, 26-27, 71-72, 91 
Way xxiv, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 18, 37, 38, 
41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 49, 55, 56, 
57,97 
western buddha land, region (see also 
Pure Land; Western Land) xix, 21 
Western Land (see also Land of Utmost 
Bliss; Pure Land) 68, 78, 79, 82, 83 
wheel-turning monarch 20, 26, 29, 59 
wisdom(s) (see also knowledge) 10, 19, 
23, 28, 31, 32, 36, 37, 38, 40, 46, 53, 
55, 58, 59, 77, 85, 98 
all-knowing 15 

of Amitayus, buddha, Buddha, Tatha- 
gata, World-honored One(s) xiii, 
xvii, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 19,33,35, 
36, 45, 58, 59 
of bodhisattvas xvi, 15, 16, 38, 39,40, 
41,60 



150 



Index 



of destroying defilements 62 
ofDharmakara 9, 19,20 
eye 19,38 
of fearlessness 6 
inconceivable 7, 58 
power of 4, 23 
profound 5, 7 
pure, purity of 7, 18, 36, 45 
sun of 33, 40 
supreme xvi, 19, 58, 59 
unhindered 19, 38 
Wisdom of Faith 3 
Wisdom of the Dharma 8 
Wisdom of Vows 3 
womanhood, renunciation of 16 
world(s) (see also Saha world; three 
worlds; universe of a thousand million 
worlds) xiv, xvii, xxiii, xxiv, 3, 4, 5, 9, 
10, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 26, 
28, 31, 33, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 
45, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 
56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 66, 82, 92, 95, 98 
appearance of buddha(s) in xvi, 4, 7, 

8, 45, 46, 56 
escape from 48, 50, 51, 52, 54 
defiled, of the five defilements 4, 67 
of the ten directions 16, 21, 23, 26, 31, 
32,33,37,67,76,77,78,92 
World Eye (see also Buddha) 7 
World Hero (see also Buddha) 7 
World-honored One(s) (see also Buddha) 
7, 9, 11, 17, 22, 32, 35, 37, 57, 58, 59, 



61, 65, 66, 67, 68, 72, 77, 81, 82, 83, 

86, 87, 99 
worldly 6,31,41,43,44,53 
world of desire, six heavens of (see also 

three worlds) 21, 103 
sixth heaven of 26, 27 
third heaven of 22 
world of form (see also three worlds) 

22, 102 
world of non-form (see also three worlds) 

102 
World Sovereign King. See Lokesvara- 

raja 
World Valiant One (see also Buddha) 7 
Wu Hang jiao. See Immeasurable 

Enlightened One 
Wu-liang-shou fo. See Buddha of Infinite 

Life 



yaksas 87 

Yama Heaven 22, 73, 75, 103 
Yao-Qin dynasty 89 
Yasas 94, 101 
Yasasprabha 93, 101 
Yasasprabhasa 94, 101 
Yasodeva 3 
Yuan-jia era 99 
Yuanzhao 99 



z 

Zhiyi 9 



151 



BDK English Tripitaka 
(First Series) 



Abbreviations 

Ch. : Chinese 

Skt. : Sanskrit 

Jp. : Japanese 

Eng. : Published title 

Title Taisho No. 

Ch. ChangahanjingGRH-g-fM) 1 

Skt. DTrghagama 

Ch. Zhongahanjing (W^IM) 26 

Skt. Madhyamagama 

Ch. Dachengbenshengxindiguanjing (^CiH^zfe'^JftlliM) 159 

Ch. Fosuoxingzan (W0ff?H) 192 

Skt. Buddhacarita 

Eng. Buddhacarita: In Praise of Buddha 's Acts (2009) 

Ch. Zabaocangjing (MMMM) 203 

Eng. The Storehouse of Sundry Valuables (1994) 

Ch. Fajupiyujing (ft-6j«PiiM) 211 

Eng. The Scriptural Text: Verses of the Doctrine, with Parables (1999) 

Ch. Xiaopinbanruoboluomijing (/h8i$%J$M&M) 227 

Skt. Astasahasrika-prajnaparamita-sutra 

Ch. Jingangbanruoboluomijing (£WMW$.BMi) 235 

Skt. Vajracchedika-prajnaparamita-sutra 

Ch. Daluojingangbukongzhenshisanmoyejing 243 

Skt. Adhyardhasatika-prajnaparamita-sutra 

Ch. Renwangbanruoboluomijing (CBK^KHSfM) 245 

Skt. Karunikaraja-prajnaparamita-sutra (?) 



153 



BDK English Tripitaka 



Title Taisho No. 

Ch. Banruoboluomiduoxingjing()SS^IIS#'^g) 251 

Skt. Prajnaparamitahrdaya-sutra 

Ch. Miaofalianhuajing (jfr&MWK) 262 

Skt. Saddharmapundarika-sutra 

Eng. The Lotus Sutra (Revised Second Edition, 2007) 

Ch. Wuliangyijing (MMMM) 276 

Ch. Guanpuxianpusaxingfajing (WkmW^Mfi&S) 277 

Ch. Dafangguangfohuayanjing (^^JRfi^SIS) 278 

Skt. Avatamsaka-sutra 

Ch. Shengmanshizihouyichengdafangbianfangguangjing 353 

Skt. SnmaladevTsimhanada-sutra 

Eng. The Sutra of Queen Srfmala of the Lion 's Roar (2004) 

Ch. Wuliangshoujing ($&M*g) 360 

Skt. SukhavatTvyuha 

Eng. The Larger Sutra on Amitayus (in The Three Pure Land Sutras, 
Revised Second Edition, 2003) 

Ch. Guanwuliangshoufojing (RiSMifWiS) 365 

Skt. Amitayurdhyana-sutra 

Eng. The Sutra on Contemplation of Amitayus 

(in The Three Pure Land Sutras, Revised Second Edition, 2003) 

Ch. Amituojing (MWWM) 366 

Skt. SukhavatTvyuha 

Eng. The Smaller Sutra on Amitayus (in The Three Pure Land Sutras, 
Revised Second Edition, 2003) 

Ch. Dabanniepanjing (^ISSSSiM) 374 

Skt. Mahaparinirvana-sutra 

Ch. Fochuibaniepanlueshuojiaojiejing(flU^)SgiSH§fJl:MiM) 389 

Eng. The Bequeathed Teaching Sutra (in Apocryphal Scriptures, 2005) 

Ch. Dicangpusabenyuanjing (i&HHllpfclBfl) 412 

Skt. Ksitigarbhapranidhana-sutra (?) 

Ch. Banzhousanmeijing (M.ft3%M) 418 

Skt. Pratyutpannabuddhasammukhavasthitasamadhi-sutra 
Eng. The Pratyutpanna Samddhi Sutra (1998) 



154 



BDK English Tripitaka 



Title Taisho No. 

Ch. Yaoshiliuliguangrulaibenyuangongdejing 450 

Skt. Bhaisajyaguruvaiduryaprabhasapurvapranidhanavisesavistara 

Ch. Milexiashengchengfojing (KilT^ftSfM) 454 

Skt. Maitreyavyakarana (?) 

Ch. Wenshushiliwenjing 0CMMW3K) 468 

Skt. Manjusripariprccha (?) 

Ch. Weimojiesuoshuojing (BB^MWM) 475 

Skt. Vimalaklrtinirdesa-sutra 
Eng. The Vimalakirti Sutra (2004) 

Ch. Yueshangnujing(£_fcJdS) 480 

Skt. Candrottaradarikapariprccha 

Ch. Zuochansanmeijing {'MW HScH) 614 

Ch. Damoduoluochanjing (MM^BWM) 618 

Ch. Yuedengsanmeijing^fiHBitcg) 639 

Skt. Samadhirajacandrapradlpa-sutra 

Ch. Shoulengyansanmeijing (gfflM3%M) 642 

Skt. Surangamasamadhi-sutra 

Eng. The Surahgama Samadhi Sutra (1998) 

Ch. Jinguangmingzuishengwangjing (^^KHHEM) 665 

Skt. Suvarnaprabhasa-sutra 

Ch. Rulengqiejing (AKftDlM) 671 

Skt. Larikavatara-sutra 

Ch. Jieshenmijing (MW$M) 676 

Skt. Samdhinirmocana-sutra 

Eng. The Scripture on the Explication of Underlying Meaning (2000) 

Ch. Yulanpenjing (SM&K) 685 

Skt. Ullambana-sutra (?) 

Eng. The Ullambana Sutra (in Apocryphal Scriptures, 2005) 

Ch. Sishierzhangjing (0+^511) 784 

Eng. The Sutra of Forty-two Sections (in Apocryphal Scriptures, 2005) 

Ch. Dafangguangyuanjuexiuduoluoliaoyijing (tt3MWMffl£%'XTWi) 842 
Eng. The Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment (in Apoayphal Scriptures, 2005) 



155 



BDK English Tripitaka 



Title Taisho No. 

Ch. Dabiluzhenachengfoshenbianjiachijing 848 

Skt. Mahavairocanabhisambodhivikurvitadhisthanavaipulyasutrendra- 

raj anamadharmap ary ay a 
Eng. The Vairocanabhisambodhi Sutra (2005) 

Ch. Jinggangdingyiqierulaizhenshishedachengxianzhengdajiao- 

wangjing (mM-mmmMWtAmmm *%3M) 865 

Skt. Sarvatathagatatattvasamgrahamahayanabhisamayamahakalparaja 
Eng. The Adamantine Pinnacle Sutra (in Two Esoteric Sutras, 2001) 

Ch. Suxidijieluojing (USMPIHIS) 893 

Skt. Susiddhikaramahatantrasadhanopayika-patala 

Eng. The Susiddhikara Sutra (in Two Esoteric Sutras, 2001) 

Ch. Modengqiejing (^gftDlM) 1300 

Skt. MatahgT-sutra (?) 

Ch. Mohesengqilu (*Mfiffi#) 1425 

Skt. Mahasamghika-vinaya (?) 

Ch. Sifenlu (mftW) 1428 

Skt. Dharmaguptaka-vinaya (?) 

Ch. Shanjianlupiposha (#jl#H^) 1462 

Pali Samantapasadika 

Ch. Fanwangjing (KIHS) 1484 

Skt. Brahmajala-sutra (?) 

Ch. Youposaijiejing (fIIS8?fifM) 1488 

Skt. UpasakasTla-sutra (?) 

Eng. The Sutra on Updsaka Precepts (1994) 

Ch. Miaofalianhuajingyoubotishe(»?£8¥fMS$tS#) 1519 

Skt. Saddharmapundarika-upadesa 

Ch. Shizhupiposhalun (+£MS$>it) 1521 

Skt. Dasabhumika-vibhasa (?) 

Ch. Fodijinglun (BMMW) 1530 

Skt. Buddhabhumisutra-sastra (?) 

Eng. The Interpretation of the Buddha Land (2002) 

Ch. Apidamojushelun (P5JK3Iff{JI#lt) 1558 

Skt. Abhidharmakosa-bhasya 



156 



BDK English Tripitaka 



Title Taisho No. 

Ch. Zhonglun (t^H) 1564 

Skt. Madhyamaka-sastra 

Ch. Yuqieshidilun ($Mfii&Wi) 1579 

Skt. Yogacarabhumi 

Ch. Chengweishilun (l$mWi,m) 1585 

Eng. Demonstration of Consciousness Only 

(in Three Texts on Consciousness Only, 1999) 

Ch. Weishisanshilunsong (BfliH+^S) 1586 

Skt. Trimsika 

Eng. The Thirty Verses on Consciousness Only 

(in Three Texts on Consciousness Only, 1999) 

Ch. Weishiershilun (mW,^m) 1590 

Skt. Vimsatika 

Eng. The Treatise in Twenty Verses on Consciousness Only 
(in Three Texts on Consciousness Only, 1999) 

Ch. Shedachenglun (MXMW&) 1593 

Skt. Mahayanasamgraha 

Eng. The Summary of the Great Vehicle (Revised Second Edition, 2003) 

Ch. Bianzhongbianlun (if^S!!) 1600 

Skt. Madhyantavibhaga 

Ch. Dachengzhuangyanjinglun (AStffiJiiMlt) 1604 

Skt. Mahayanasutralamkara 

Ch. Dachengchengyelun (fZ'^I^Mm) 1609 

Skt. Karmasiddhiprakarana 

Ch. Jiujingyichengbaoxinglun(^a^mi(tt!i) 1611 

Skt. Ratnagotravibhagamahayanottaratantra-sastra 

Ch. Yinmingruzhenglilun (HHJ!AIEai^) 1630 

Skt. Nyayapravesa 

Ch. DachengjipusaxueluntASft^KPiiffl) 1636 

Skt. Siksasamuccaya 

Ch. Jingangzhenlun (ABUtf-fra) 1642 

Skt. VajrasucT 

Ch. Zhangsuozhilun (#Blf»!ra) 1645 

Eng. The Treatise on the Elucidation of the Knowable (2004) 



157 



BDK English Tripitaka 



Title Taisho No. 

Ch. Putixingjing (#HffS) 1662 

Skt. Bodhicaryavatara 

Ch. Jingangdingyuqiezhongfaanouduoluosanmiaosanputixinlun 1665 

Ch. Dachengqixinlun (AftlBJalt) 1666 

Skt. Mahayanasraddhotpada-sastra (?) 

Eng. The Awakening of Faith (2005) 

Ch. Shimoheyanlun (P*Mfi?ln) 1668 

Ch. Naxianbiqiujing {W9cVc£M) 1670 

Pali Milindapanha 

Ch. Banruoboluomiduoxinjingyuzan((K^SH^#'^iMfflR) 1710 

Eng. A Comprehensive Commentary on the Heart Sutra 
(Prajhdpdramita-hrdaya-sutra) (200 1 ) 

Ch. Miaofalianhuajingxuanyi (MtfeMWM&ti) 1716 

Ch. Guanwuliangshoufojingshu (MMM.WWMM) 1753 

Ch. Sanlunxuanyi (Hf^S) 1852 

Ch. Dachengxuanlun (AStiSlt) 1853 

Ch. Zhaolun(«lt) 1858 

Ch. Huayanyichengjiaoyifenqkhang(|SJ||— MWtikfrW^) 1866 

Ch. Yuanrenlun (Jg AH) 1886 

Ch. Mohezhiguan (JPMlLH) 1911 

Ch. Xiuxizhiguanzuochanfayao (tf Slhffi*ffS^) 1915 

Ch. Tiantaisijiaoyi(A^lzgi5:fi) 1931 

Ch. Guoqingbailu (HttWii) 1934 

Ch. Zhenzhoulinjihuizhaochanshiwulu(ll#IKsJ^SM»eiliH!fS) 1985 

Eng. The Recorded Sayings ofLinji (in Three Chan Classics, 1999) 

Ch. Foguoyuanwuchanshibiyanlu (ffiJUHISW fflBMM) 2003 

Eng. The Blue Cliff Record (1998) 

Ch. Wumenguan (l$Hii) 2005 

Eng. Wumen s Gate (in Three Chan Classics, 1999) 



158 



BDK English Tripitaka 



Title Taisho No. 

Ch. Liuzudashifabaotanjing (/sfiAWSM«iI) 2008 

Eng. The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch (2000) 

Ch. Xinxinming (#4>$g) 2010 

Eng. The Faith-Mind Maxim (in Three Chan Classics, 1999) 

Ch. Huangboshanduanjichanshichuanxinfayao 2012A 

Eng. Essentials of the Transmission of Mind (in Zen Texts, 2005) 

Ch. Yongjiazhengdaoge (frMWMW) 2014 

Ch. Chixiubaizhangqinggui (WjWS'iMM) 2025 

Eng. The Baizhang Zen Monastic Regulations (2007) 

Ch. Yibuzonglunlun (Hgflg?fil§0 2031 

Skt. Samayabhedoparacanacakra 

Eng. The Cycle of the Formation of the Schismatic Doctrines (2004) 

Ch. Ayuwangjing (MWUM) 2043 

Skt. Asokavadana 

Eng. The Biographical Scripture of King Asoka (1993) 

Ch. Mamingpusachuan (MllUlIflJ) 2046 

Eng. The Life of Asvaghosa Bodhisattva 

(in Lives of Great Monks and Nuns, 2002) 

Ch. Longshupusachuan (WMWMM) 2047 

Eng. The Life of Nagarjuna Bodhisattva 

(in Lives of Great Monks and Nuns, 2002) 

Ch. Posoupandoufashichuan (SKISa&Wfll) 2049 

Eng. Biography of Dharma Master Vasubandhu 
(in Lives of Great Monks and Nuns, 2002) 

Ch. Datangdaciensisancangfashichuan (XHsXWM^^-M&Mif-) 2053 

Eng. A Biography of the Tripitaka Master of the Great Ci 'en 
Monastery of the Great Tang Dynasty (1995) 

Ch. Gaosengchuan (iftff fil) 2059 

Ch. Biqiunichuan (JfcJx/gfll) 2063 

Eng. Biographies of Buddhist Nuns 

(in Lives of Great Monks and Nuns, 2002) 



159 



BDK English Tripitaka 



Title Taisho No. 

Ch. Gaosengfaxianchuan (BHtf fellfii) 2085 
Eng. The Journey of the Eminent Monk Faxian 
(in Lives of Great Monks and Nuns, 2002) 

Ch. Datangxiyuji (AJfH«tB) 2087 
Eng. The Great Tang Dynasty Record of the Western Regions (1996) 

Ch. Youfangjichao: Tangdaheshangdongzhengchuan 2089-(7) 

Ch. Hongmingji 0kmM) 2102 

Ch. Fayuanzhulin QiiW^M) 2122 

Ch. Nanhaijiguineifachuan(ffi?$ft : |iF f 3Sfi) 2125 
Eng. Buddhist Monastic Traditions of Southern Asia (2000) 

Ch. Fanyuzaming ($£!§«£) 2135 

Jp. Shomangyogisho (BMM£M) 2185 

Jp. Yuimakyogisho {MMMMM) 2186 

Jp. Hokkegisho Q&WBM) 2187 

Jp. Hannyashingyohiken (fflffi'iMMM) 2203 

Jp. Daijohossokenjinsho (^igfifiWttS) 2309 

Jp. Kan-jin-kaku-mu-sho QMt&WW) 2312 

Jp. Risshukoyo (#77<IH^) 2348 
Eng. The Essentials of the Vinaya Tradition (1995) 

Jp. Tendaihokkeshugishu (^f)S¥Sil) 2366 
Eng. The Collected Teachings of the Tendai Lotus School (1995) 

Jp. Kenkairon (IB^cHf) 2376 

Jp. Sangegakushoshiki (0jg?lpfe£) 2377 

Jp. Hizohoyaku ($M9M) 2426 
Eng. The Precious Key to the Secret Treasury (in Shingon Texts, 2004) 

Jp. Benkenmitsunikyoron (PUffj^iStfra) 2427 
Eng. On the Differences between the Exoteric and Esoteric 
Teachings (in Shingon Texts, 2004) 



160 



BDK English Tripitaka 



Title Taisho No. 

Jp. Sokushinjobutsugi (EP #${$«) 2428 

Eng. The Meaning of Becoming a Buddha in This Very Body 
(in Shingon Texts, 2004) 

Jp. Shojijissogi (S^Kfgg) 2429 

Eng. Tlie Meanings of Sound, Sign, and Reality (in Shingon Texts, 2004) 

Jp. Unjigi (Pf^JS) 2430 

Eng. The Meanings of the Word Hum (in Shingon Texts, 2004) 

Jp. Gorinkujimyohimitsushaku(EltA r g E: BJ!i5^f?) 2514 

Eng. The Illuminating Secret Commentary on the Five Cakras 
and the Nine Syllables (in Shingon Texts, 2004) 

Jp. Mitsugoninhotsurosangemon (^SKISS'IS'ISX) 2527 

Eng. The Mitsugonin Confession (in Shingon Texts, 2004) 

Jp. Kozengokokuron (flPKHlt) 2543 

Eng. A Treatise on Letting Zen Flourish to Protect the State 
(in Zen Texts, 2005) 

Jp. Fukanzazengi (If »*»«) 2580 

Eng. A Universal Recommendation for True Zazen 
(in Zen Texts, 2005) 

Jp. Shobogenzo (lE&ISH) 2582 

Eng. Shobogenzo: The True Dharma-eye Treasury (Volume I, 2007) 
Shobogenzo: The True Dharma-eye Treasury (Volume II, 2008) 
Shobogenzo: The True Dharma-eye Treasury (Volume III, 2008) 
Shobogenzo: The True Dharma-eye Treasury (Volume IV, 2008) 

Jp. Zazenyojinki (^ff Jfl/^nB) 2586 

Eng. Advice on the Practice of Zazen (in Zen Texts, 2005) 

Jp. Senchakuhongannenbutsushu (MW ^-MltMM) 2608 

Eng. Senchaku Hongan Nembutsu Shu: A Collection of Passages 
on the Nembutsu Chosen in the Original Vow (1997) 

Jp. Kenjodoshinjitsukyogyoshomonrui (MWi.Kmik^S.'XM) 2646 

Eng. Kyogyoshinsho: On Teaching, Practice, Faith, and 
Enlightenment (2003) 

Jp. Tannisho (iP:Hg>) 2661 

Eng. Tannisho: Passages Deploring Deviations of Faith (1996) 



161 



BDK English Tripitaka 



Jp. Rennyoshoninofumi (MtM±.AMX) 2668 

Eng. Rennyo Shonin Ofumi: The Letters ofRennyo (1996) 

Jp. Ojoyoshu (ffi£^fl) 2682 

Jp. Risshoankokuron (jajE^HIh) 2688 

Eng. Risshoankokuron or The Treatise on the Establishment 

of the Orthodox Teaching and the Peace of the Nation 

(in Two Nichiren Texts, 2003) 

Jp. Kaimokusho(Mg&) 2689 

Eng. Kaimokusho or Liberation from Blindness (2000) 

Jp. Kanjinhonzonsho (M'b^MW) 2692 

Eng. Kanjinhonzonsho or The Most Venerable One Revealed 
by Introspecting Our Minds for the First Time at the 
Beginning of the Fifth of the Five Five Hundred-year Ages 
(in Two Nichiren Texts, 2003) 

Ch. Fumuenzhongjing {%MM,Wg) 2887 

Eng. The Sutra on the Profundity of Filial Love 
(in Apocryphai I Scriptures, 2005) 

Jp. Hasshukoyo (A?j?IH3c) extracanonical 

Eng. The Essentials of the Eight Traditions (1994) 

Jp. Sangoshiki (EEMM'M ) extracanonical 

Jp. Mappotomyoki (^fiS^fE!) extracanonical 

Eng. The Candle of the Latter Dharma ( 1 994) 

Jp. Jushichijokenpo (+ L'fSKfS) extracanonical 



162